If you are in college or just out of school and focused on your first professional job, your whole life is in front of you, and you probably have big plans for your future.
You may not think much about drinking and driving, believing that if stopped for DWI, you simply pay a fine and go on with your life. However, a DWI conviction can disrupt your future plans in a big way.
Problems at work
To begin with, an arrest for drinking and driving comes with a driver’s license suspension. How will you get to your classes? How will you get to work? Consider that if your job involves driving for the company, your employer may terminate you upon learning about the DWI conviction. If you are applying for a new position, the recruiter will likely perform a background check on you as a matter of course. Even if you have the skills and experience required for this new position, the recruiter could pass you by in favor of a candidate with a clean record, one who seems more trustworthy.
If you are 21 or older and a first offender, the law requires a license suspension of at least 120 days. Once you become eligible for the reinstatement of your driving privileges, you will have to show proof of auto insurance, which can be expensive. Liability coverage must be for at least the minimum limits in the state of Georgia.
If your conviction for drunk driving escalates from a misdemeanor to felony status, you risk losing some personal liberties, further enlarging that cloud over your future. For example, with a felony on your record, you cannot vote in an election. You cannot obtain a passport nor purchase a firearm.
If you are ever arrested on suspicion of DWI, explore your legal options without delay. Getting behind the wheel after having a couple of beers, for example, is a mistake many people make once and resolve never to make again. Remember that there are many years ahead of you. The main goal of an effective defense is to get rid of that cloud over your future.