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Collateral consequences of a DWI arrest or conviction

Driving drunk is a recipe for disaster. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were roughly 11,300 alcohol-related crashes on the state’s roadways in 2017. Of these, nearly 400 resulted in someone’s death. 

While committing never to driving drunk is an effective way to increase your chances of arriving at your destination safely, life has a funny way of derailing good intentions. As such, you must realize the serious nature of an arrest or conviction for driving while impaired. The consequences of a DWI go beyond criminal liability, though. Here are three other ways a DWI may affect your life: 

1. Problems with current and future employment 

A DWI may wreak havoc on your career. If you drive professionally, an arrest or conviction may cause you to lose your commercial driver’s license. Even if you have a non-driving job, though, you may have trouble convincing a company to employ you. If you plan to have a military career, a DWI may result in a dishonorable discharge. 

2. Limits on foreign travel 

Some countries do not take kindly to DWI arrests and convictions in the United States. For example, visiting Canada and Mexico may be difficult if you have ever driven while impaired. A dozen or more other countries also frown on DWI convictions. If you plan to travel to a place that prohibits those with a DWI charge from entering, you likely must rearrange your plans. 

3. Higher insurance costs 

Insurance companies know that drunk drivers often cause accidents. If you have a DWI arrest or conviction on your record, you can expect to pay higher premiums. After all, following a DWI, you become a greater liability than motorists who never drive while impaired. 

With some discipline and a bit of planning, you can likely avoid a DWI arrest or conviction altogether. Still, if you think you may eventually find yourself behind the wheel after a night on the town, you should realize how a DWI may affect your future.

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