A drinking and driving conviction can come with heavy costs, especially when circumstances see your charges bumped up to the felony level. But the real trouble may not come in a dollar amount, and the ramifications could last for years.
The average price of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction in Florida is over $3,000, but that only takes into account the financial burdens. Court fines and increased insurance premiums may get you off to a bad start, but they could pale in comparison to the issues you might be facing.
Paying the price
Getting convicted of a DUI can come with all kinds of costs, but they don’t always come with a dollar sign:
- Driving privileges: You may get a six-month license suspension that could stretch out to a year if you refuse an officer’s chemical test. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles puts these suspensions in place so they could start before you ever see the inside of a courtroom. The length of the suspension goes up with the severity and frequency of charges, and often come with additional stipulations like reinstatement fees and installing an ignition interlock system.
- Professional risk: Even if losing your driver’s license doesn’t put your job directly in jeopardy, there are further-reaching prices you may have to pay. If you need certification to work by a licensing board, the DUI isn’t just putting your future applications at risk. You may need to notify the oversight board as soon as a conviction comes down, and they might reevaluate you on the spot.
- Background checks: Your conviction could stay with you long after other consequences may have worn away. Anyone conducting a background check, from a police officer during a traffic stop to a potential employer screening applicants, could easily find your criminal history.
Knowing the repercussions could help you craft a plan when facing a DUI charge. Make sure you understand everything that’s at stake, and you’ll be more prepared for the process.