With the holiday season upon us, you may be a little more likely to partake in parties and get-togethers than you usually do the rest of the year. Whether it is an office party, a reunion back home with old friends or just visiting with family, this time of year can bring plenty of festivities where alcohol is involved. It is also one of the busiest times of the year for DUI arrests.
Many times, these sorts of unique nights out can catch you off guard and make you believe that you are still okay to drive. In the state of Tennessee, if you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at .08 or higher, you will be arrested for DUI.
Legal consequences for a DUI conviction can not only be expensive, it can even in some circumstances land you in jail. A DUI can also cause problems if you hold a professional license or are trying to get a job. To help avoid the complications of a DUI, here are some reasons for you to drink responsibly and not take the chance of driving while under the influence this holiday season or any other time of the year.
Loss of license
You may not realize how devastating having your license suspended is until you actually go through it. Needing to find alternative ways to get to work, drive the kids to activities or just running usual errands will cause both frustration and stress. Not to mention the financial setback you will endure for paying for rides and even the toll it will take on family and friends when you ask them to drive you around. A license suspension can last months or even years.
Jail time and other penalties
In the state of Tennessee, there are minimum requirements for jail time for a DUI arrest. If you are facing your first DUI arrest, the minimum stay in jail is 48 hours if you are found or plead guilty. On top of jail time, you can expect expensive fines and you may have to attend training courses relating to alcohol impairment.
Your DUI arrest will be public knowledge, which means current and future employers may look at it and find that your conduct may be detrimental to the job you will be doing. Loss of a job or not being offered employment can easily be the result due to your DUI. It can even be more serious if you hold a professional license and it is revoked.
Insurance rates increase
A DUI conviction can feel like the troubles will never end. You may learn that when your insurance rates go up. Right when you think the worst is behind you, suddenly the premium on your car insurance will increase significantly. In Tennessee, this will happen because for three years following your DUI conviction, you will be required to carry high-risk insurance.
A DUI conviction can also cause you embarrassment. You may feel your lack of responsibility is reflecting poorly among your family, friends and co-workers. Driving while under the influence can also have consequences beyond a conviction. If your actions cause harm or death to someone because of your negligence, beyond increased legal action you face, you will have to cope with a substantial amount of guilt that may last your lifetime.