When a police officer pulls you over because they think that you have had too much to drink, their accusations can have numerous negative consequences. They will probably arrest you if you fail a field sobriety test or chemical breath test.
Many people facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in California may plead guilty because they don’t see the value in going to court. If someone doesn’t have many driving infractions on their record and has completely avoided criminal charges, they may think that one non-violent offense will be a minimal issue in the future.
In reality, DUI charges can cause many headaches, including the three serious financial consequences below.
You will have to pay fines and fees
A DUI in California can lead to loss of your license, jail time and fines imposed by the courts. For a first offense, a DUI fine could be $390, in addition to thousands in penalty assessments. Prior offenses and aggravating factors at the time of your arrest will affect how much you pay in fines to the state when you plead guilty or get convicted.
What you pay for insurance will increase
California requires liability car insurance for someone to legally register a vehicle and drive. The premium that the insurance company charges to insure you depends on how much risk they take by insuring you.
The more dangerous your driving history is, the more the company will charge for the same coverage. Having a DUI on your driving record will dramatically increase how much you pay for insurance. Drivers without a DUI on their record pay $1,868 annually on average. After a DUI, that annual cost increases to $4,937. That’s an increase of 164%!
A conviction will affect your career
If you drive in any context for your employment, your work could be at risk because of a DUI offense. You can lose a commercial driver’s license for offenses that take place in your own vehicle. Even if you do just drive a standard vehicle to make sales calls or perform service work, your employer may not want you driving on the clock. You may not be able to do those job responsibilities at all during the suspension of your license.