Driving under the influence (DUI) in Rhode Island can have serious consequences. Despite continued efforts to raise awareness about the risks, many individuals still get behind the wheel after drinking. This decision leads to countless accidents and lives lost each year and has several consequences. Here are some things you should know.
Jail time and financial penalties
If pulled over after driving while drunk, you could be arrested and charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. Depending on the state, even first-time offenders may have to serve mandatory jail time and pay substantial fines and legal fees. A DUI conviction can also result in a criminal record.
If you caused or contributed to an accident while driving under the influence, you could also be held legally liable for damages or injuries resulting from the accident and have to deal with the associated costs and legal ramifications.
Loss of employment
Beyond the legal consequences, a DUI conviction can hurt your chances of getting a job since many employers will run a background check on potential hires. Additionally, you might not qualify for work opportunities that involve operating company vehicles.
Your auto insurer may cancel your existing policy after your DUI conviction. You will likely have significantly higher auto insurance rates and need to carry high-risk auto insurance, known as SR-22 auto insurance.
Driver’s license suspension
In most states, you will receive a driver’s license suspension for up to a year if convicted of a DUI. If you have multiple offenses, you may have your license revoked. If you have a commercial driver’s license, a DUI conviction that results in the loss of your license can cause you to lose your livelihood.
Risking your own safety or the safety of others by driving under the influence never pays off. If you plan on drinking, arrange to have someone act as a designated driver or use a ride-sharing service to get home safely.