Being convicted of drinking and driving or driving under the influence can have serious consequences on both your personal and professional life. You may lose your license, be subjected to major fines and lose the respect of family and friends. If you are currently facing a DWI or DUI conviction, there are a few facts you may want to learn about what this could mean for the future.
1. State DWI Laws May Vary
The details of your conviction may vary depending on your state of residency. Some states have what is known as a per se DUI, which means you may be convicted depending on the actual amount of drugs or alcohol present in your system. The limit for alcohol in most states is .08 percent, but in others, a conviction may stand if you tested below that limit yet were visibly impaired when an officer pulled you over. Your attorney can tell you more about specific laws that apply to your state.
2. DWI Laws Apply To Most Vehicles
Your DWI may have occurred while you were behind the wheel of your car; however, drinking and driving laws apply to other vehicles as well. Driving motorcycles, boats, jet skis, four-wheelers and custom vehicles while under the influence can also result in a conviction. While drinking and operating a bicycle is a less common offense, you may be pulled over and given a breathalyzer if you are visibly impaired while on the road.
3. Breathalyzer Refusal Can Have Serious Consequences
If you refused a breathalyzer test when an officer pulled you over, you may now be facing more than a DWI conviction. Most states have the implied consent rule, which means any driver pulled over on a suspicion of driving drunk must comply or agree to take any field sobriety test. If you refused, you may face the suspension or loss of your license once you face a judge.
4. Conviction Can Follow You for Years
The effects of a DUI or DWI conviction do not vanish once you face your conviction. Once you pay your fines, the record remains and may follow you for a number of years. Applying for credit, a new job or finding affordable car insurance may be difficult. If you realize you have a problem with alcohol and may repeat this offense, it could be helpful to seek out professional help and support groups.
Being convicted of a DUI or DWI can change your life forever, but you do not have to cope with the issue alone. Reach out to an attorney, like a Civic Center San Francisco, CA DUI lawyer from Hallinan Law Firm, today for further assistance and information.