5 Ways A DUI Can Affect Your Life

Posted by Josh Valentine | Dec 22, 2016

The impact of a DUI on your life, and the lives of other people, can be extensive and profound. Here are five significant ways in which a DUI can affect your life -- in both the short and the long term.


1.) Employment/Education Related Fallout
Many people charged with a DUI face employment consequences. Many more people face these types of problems if convicted. One basic employment related issue stemming from a DUI is restrictions on your ability to drive. If you have a job that requires driving, that is a serious issue. However, even if you are not required to drive on the job, getting to your place of employment can become challenging.

The impact of driving on your employment is far from the only issue you may face. The reality is that your professional reputation may be put at risk. Whether it be at your current position on a job hunt, you may have to disclose a DUI conviction, depending on the criteria used by a current or prospective employer. This could greatly limit your ability to obtain or maintain a working position.

2.) Immediate Effects of a DUI

The more immediate effects of being charged and convicted of a DUI are somewhat apparent, but bear mentioning for those individuals who may have yet to face this type of charge. The sanctions for a DUI conviction in most states are progressive. What this means is that after being charged with a DUI one time, the penalties associated with a conviction become far more serious if convicted again.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face the prospect of jail time, particularly after having one prior conviction. Fines can be hefty, even on a first time DUI. You will likely lose your driver's license for a period of time, a period that increases with each successive conviction.

You may be required to utilize an interlock device on your vehicle. This device measures the presence of alcohol. You are not able to operate your vehicle if alcohol is detected. The presence of alcohol will be reported to authorities that are monitoring your compliance with driving and not drinking.

3.) Civil Lawsuit
Another potential consequence associated with a DUI is the possibility of someone else being injured because you drove while intoxicated. In such a situation, you may not only face the probability of criminal charges, but the very real possibility of civil consequences as well that could require the services of not only a criminal lawyer, but a DC personal injury lawyer.

Although criminal prosecution for DUI can be a hard experience in many ways, you cannot minimize how challenging and life altering a civil suit is when someone else is injured because of your conduct while driving

4.) Personal Relationships
People charged and convicted with a DUI oftentimes do not appreciate the impact this type of situation has on personal relationships. The reality is that a DUI charge, let alone conviction, can negatively impact your closest relationships, including with your family and your significant other.

5.) Automobile Insurance
Following a DUI charge and conviction, you may see your automobile insurance cancelled. You definitely will see an increase in rate. If your insurance is cancelled, you very well may have a challenging time finding replacement coverage. A new policy will come with higher premiums, likely significantly so.

If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, please reach out to a skilled attorney today.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their added insight into the potential consequences of a DUI.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar