The Social Consequences of Getting a DUI—Now What? By Stacy Aspen



If you’ve been charged with a DUI and you’re not going to jail, you can be thankful for not having any jail time. However, if you think things will be the same as before, they won’t and probably never will be again. Your life is about to change dramatically. The best thing you can do is make the changes positive ones. Here are just a few of the things that could happen after your DUI conviction.

Your New Life After a DUI

Depending on what your sentence is without jail time, you may or may not have a probation officer to whom you must report. You will get to know that person very well. He or she will be watching your moves more than you want, but it will happen if you’re on probation.

Some of you will have your license suspended. The amount of time will vary depending on the judge’s order. So now you will find that you are dependent upon other people driving you, walking, and public transportation. It isn’t fun and it’s not supposed to be. As AA says, “Keep it green.” That means to keep it fresh; be mindful every day that alcohol is ruining your life. While you are walking a mile to the bus stop every day, you will remember that maybe next time you won’t drink and drive.

Being dependent on your friends and spouse for rides is not a picnic either. Your friends will take you places once in awhile, and you can usually count on AA people to give you a ride from time to time. When you ask your spouse for a ride, however, that’s where it gets dicey. Your spouse didn’t get the DUI—you did. Why should your spouse go out of his or her way to pick you up from the train station when he or she didn’t do anything? Expect some serious resentment from them. They don’t deserve to be your taxicab and they shouldn’t be. If they are in the area and can pick you up, you can argue that they aren’t going out of their way for you and maybe they will pick you up. But to ask them to come get you on a daily basis is making them pay for what you did. That is inherently unfair. If you don’t think so, go to an AA or Al-Anon meeting and bring up this issue. See how many people have the same issue of spousal resentment. Asking for rides can cause a lot of arguments. Keep in mind that it is not your spouse’s fault and don’t take it out on your spouse.

If you have driving privileges, they may come subject to having an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car. It has to be in every car you drive. You can sit in the driver’s seat, have your spouse sit next to you and find out that you have to sit for awhile because the car won’t start. It may be the false positive reading it’s getting from reacting to something you ate, mouthwash, cough medicine, or similar things, but you’ll be sitting in the car with an annoyed spouse until the car receives an alcohol-free sample.

The same is true for the rolling retest. If you insist on driving, leave earlier than you usually would. You may fail one of the rolling retests for the same reason the car wouldn’t start initially. Even if the car did start initially, you still may fail a rolling retest later on if you’ve had anything to drink or eat that causes a reaction like having alcohol in your mouth. Again, count on having an annoyed spouse or family members. It isn’t pleasant, it makes you feel badly, but there’s nothing you can do except wait it out.

Yes, a DUI can certainly cause a strain on your marriage. Consult a therapist if this is happening to you. If you can’t afford a therapist, speak with someone at your place of worship or at an AA meeting. You may also need marital counseling to get through this time.

If there are legal ramifications of the DUI, consult a DUI attorney for questions and advice. An expert DUI attorney will guide you through the legal process, even after the DUI. This could mean questions about the IID, probation, community service, DUI courses, or whatever other penalties you have to endure.

When it comes to spousal issues, money is going to be one of them in many DUI cases. Money issues could include the cost of a train and/or bus, the cost of cab fare, and possibly the astronomical cost of the IID itself, including installation, the monthly fee, and the extra fees that are tacked on. This is not going to sit well for a spouse who hasn’t done anything to deserve this. While you will be dealing with guilt issues, AA can help, as can a therapist or a priest, pastor or rabbi. The money issue is likely to continue for awhile. This means more money for transportation, lots of money for fines, lots of money for the IID, and other expenses. It means less money for household expenses.

You may need to attend DUI classes and/or community service projects, and you’re going to have to get there. You may have to ask for a ride, or if you’re lucky, you’ll be driving with the IID. You’ll have to figure out how to get to your probation appointments also. Expect that your life will include all kinds of community service events, classes that you must attend with regularity, and probation. This is your new life after the DUI and it isn’t fun, but it’s something you will have to get used to.

Consult a DUI Attorney

Seek the assistance of a DUI attorney. They have the experience to get you through this time and can help you negotiate your new life after the DUI. Don’t forget to keep their number with you at all times in case you need them in an emergency.

 

Stacy Aspenis a licensed appellate attorney with 31 years experience in family law.  She has been a legal writer since 2008 providing articles, research papers, briefs and motions as well as web copy and blog posts.  She also has an English Major specializing in creative writing.  She is not associated with Katz and Phillips, PA but can recommend their expertise to anyone looking for the services of an Orlando DUI Lawyer.

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