How Traffic Tickets and DUIs Affect Your Life
Fines are one of the most common methods used to punish drivers for traffic violations. While the initial financial requirement for the ticket may seem like enough of a punishment, you can also see insurance spikes, jail time, or worse.
The severity of your fine and the fallout from insurance companies depends on the level of the infraction. There are some types of tickets that may have little to no effect on your driving record, including fix-it tickets like those for broken headlights. Speeding tickets generally have a greater effect and can incur hundreds of dollars in fines. Tickets showing speeds of more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit will have bigger fines and yield higher insurance increases than lower speeds. Your insurance company will likely increase your monthly premium after you’ve received a ticket, but the length of time it will affect you depends on the insurance group. Some companies will leave the citation on your record for five years while others may remove it after three.
Getting pulled over for drunk driving could result in a DUI charge. While a speeding ticket can end up costing you money, a DUI can have more drastic consequences. Here are a few things that can happen on the first offense of a DUI:
- Much higher fine amount
- Suspension of your license for up to 24 months
- Insurance coverage increase or denial
- Denied entrance to some countries
A DUI is treated like a criminal offense and drivers who receive it must have their mug shot and fingerprints taken. You may also be required to install an ignition lock on your vehicle for up to three years to prevent your car from starting if you are under the influence. Also, counseling or DUI classes may be required before you’re able to receive your license again.
A DUI can affect your life for years and can also affect your job. The reality is that many companies won’t even consider hiring an applicant who has a DUI on their record. As this conviction is a permanent part of your record, it will likely affect your career and earning potential forever, especially if you have a CDL.
If you’ve recently been charged with a traffic ticket or DUI you may have lost hope of avoiding financial setbacks or a permanent criminal record, but there is something drivers can do to avoid these extreme consequences. Consulting legal counsel on your case prior to your court date can help avoid negative repercussions now and for years to come.