If you have never faced a conviction for driving under the influence, impaired driving, or Over 80, the consequences that follow may not be clear. Perhaps you think the only thing that happens is paying a fine, taking a class, and then putting the matter behind you. In fact, the future could change quite a bit. Here are some examples of what you are likely to experience in the months and years ahead.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
Depending on the specifics, you could lose your driving privileges for anywhere between a few days to over a year. During that time, you are not allowed to operate any motor vehicle. At the very least, this will mean you have to rely on other modes of transportation to get to and from work. If your job happens to involve travel, renting a car is out of the question. While you used to go wherever you liked on the spur of the moment, every trip will now require careful planning.
The Installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Locking Device
Assuming you do have your driving privileges restored after a short time, the court may order that your vehicle be outfitted with a breach alcohol ignition locking device. Before you can start the car, you have to blow into a mouthpiece. If your breath indicates a blood alcohol level above the programmed limit, the car will not start.
Higher Auto Insurance Rates
The conviction will become part of your permanent driving record. You can bet that insurance providers will check that record before extending coverage. As your Toronto DUI lawyer will explain, your current provider could drop you. Even if the provider chooses to continue doing business with you, expect for the premiums to increase. It will be years before you can command the most competitive rates again.
Difficulty Obtaining Financing
Did you know that many lenders check criminal records as well as credit reports? With the conviction on your record, obtaining mortgages, car loans, and possibly even credit cards will become more problematic. The conviction indicates you pose a greater risk to the creditor. If that risk is too great, your application will be denied. Even if it's approved, you may only be eligible for the less competitive terms extended to high-risk clients.
Limiting Your Options for Work
Perhaps you are happy with your current job and your employer has no plans to replace you. While your present position is secure, applications for promotions may be out of the question. In the event your employer eliminates your position or the company closes, you will find it more difficult to land a new job. That's because the background check will reveal the conviction. Assuming another candidate with the same skill level and experience applies for that position, the employer is likely to go with the other person.
Think long and hard about using anything that would negatively impact your ability to drive and then getting into a vehicle. If you are stopped by an officer and ultimately convicted, the outcome will not be easy to overcome. Remember that one of the Toronto DUI lawyers can take on your case, examine all the relevant details, and seek the best possible resolution. Your first call after an arrest should be to legal counsel who can ensure your rights are protected through every phase of the process.