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James N. Papirmeister, P.C.

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How will a DUI conviction affect your future?

You may be a college student, or perhaps a professional who has already begun a career in which you hope to advance. So far, your life has been fulfilling, but what does the future hold if law enforcement arrests you for DUI?

The legal consequences

Here in Maryland, both criminal and civil penalties apply when placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. The civil penalty that is most troubling for those charged is the suspension of driving privileges, a matter you will learn more about during a Motor Vehicle Administration hearing. Criminal penalties are based on your blood alcohol concentration(BAC) level at the time of your arrest. If your BAC was .08 percent or higher, you could spend up to one year in jail, pay a fine of up to $1,000 and lose your driver’s license for 180 days.

The personal consequences

The personal consequences of a DUI conviction are far-reaching. Once you recover from the shock of conviction, you will begin to see how a DUI conviction could change your life. For example, if driving is part of your current job, the DUI may cause your employer to terminate you. Additionally, finding another position may not be all that easy. Most employers perform background checks on potential employees. Since anyone can view the DUI conviction on your record, a recruiter may put your application aside and choose a candidate with a clean record who appears more trustworthy. A similar issue is how friends and family will react to your DUI conviction. They, too, may see you as less trustworthy than they once did. A DUI will also affect your auto insurance rates. Your insurer may see you as a high-risk driver and either cancel your policy or raise the cost of your coverage significantly.

Addressing the consequences

If law enforcement arrests you on a charge of DUI, explore your legal options. Procedural mistakes or breathalyzer equipment failures are among the possibilities for the reduction of penalties or even the dismissal of charges. Keep in mind that a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense and can change your plans for the future dramatically.

 

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