Changing Your Behavior After a DUI

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can give anyone a good scare. No one likes being asked to perform the field sobriety tests in front of other drivers, breathing into a breathalyzer during a traffic stop, being handcuffed, driven down to the station for booking, and having their driver license suspended – and that’s only the beginning!

DUI convictions in California often mean DUI School, fines, license suspension, jail, community service, DUI probation, AA meetings, attending a MADD victim impact panel, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). It also means skyrocketing insurance premiums and a lovely criminal record.


Beyond the misdemeanor or felony conviction, and in the case of a DUI accident, a hefty bill from the California Highway Patrol, a DUI can have other consequences as well. What do we mean? Here are some other ways a DUI can come back to haunt you:

· In the middle of a child custody battle? Your ex and the judge can use the DUI against you.

· If you’re applying to college, failing to disclose your DUI can lead to being kicked out.

· Work in medicine or education? A DUI can be bad for your career.

· A DUI can cause licensing boards to deny or revoke a license.

· Some employers won’t hire someone with a DUI period.

· A DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years.

· If you can’t afford it, your credit can take a hit.

· A DUI can affect immigration status.

· A DUI can seriously affect housing.


Did you know that a huge percentage of people arrested for DUI have already driven drunk many times before? It’s just the first time they were ever caught. Whether or not you drove drunk before your DUI, you don’t want to make the same mistake twice. We say this because for some people, old habits die hard, but they can be broken.

Even if you have “functional tolerance,” and you can hold your liquor, you don’t want to risk getting another DUI. When you’re drinking, don’t forget to drink responsibly and avoid drinking and driving at all costs by following this advice:

· Have a designated driver,

· If you’re at a friend’s, consider spending the night,

· Walk home or take a bus,

· Ask a sober person to drive you home, or

· Call Uber, Lyft, or a cab – they’re a lot cheaper than a DUI!

With Uber and Lyft these days, drinking responsibly is easier than ever before. Even if you have driven under the influence dozens of times before your DUI, you don’t want to take a chance putting yourself and others at risk, nor do you want to risk getting a second DUI.

Related: Should I Accept a Plea Bargain in My DUI Case?

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