Maybe you remember one night driving home after a party when you knew you shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. In the morning, you may have laughed with friends about the risk you took, and avoiding disaster presented you with a challenge for the next time. If you can do it once, you can do it again.

What’s the big deal? A banged-up fender or a scratch on the side of your car is not that serious, even if you don’t really remember how they got there. However, if you stop to consider the consequences you could face if you continue to take the chance that you won’t get caught drinking and driving, you may find that the challenge isn’t so exciting.

Is it worth it?

Aside from the chance that, in an impaired state, you may be unable to avoid an accident that could result in the injury or death of yourself and many others, you take serious chances with your freedom and your future when you choose to drink and drive. Even a first offense in Colorado carries the potential for life-changing penalties if a court convicts you. For example, you may spend up to a year behind bars, which could have a ripple effect on your way of life.

However, even if your sentence does not include jail time, a conviction for a DUI may result in some unpleasant consequences that may affect the following areas of your life:

  • Your job: Many employers do not want the insurance risk of having a convicted drunk driver on the payroll, especially if your job includes driving. Additionally, you place at risk your professional license and the reputation of the business you work for.
  • Your freedom to drive: Not only will the administrative court likely suspend your license, but you may then have to install an ignition interlock on your vehicles to prevent you from driving with any amount of alcohol in your system.
  • Your child custody agreement: If you are dealing with custody issues, a DUI conviction may sway a family court judge that you are not a responsible parent. This could jeopardize your chances of gaining or keeping custody of your children.
  • Your wallet: After paying your fines, fees, ignition interlock servicing, towing, bail, alcohol treatment, DUI classes and the many other requirements of your sentencing, a DUI conviction could easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If your arrest involved an accident, the cost may soar even higher.
  • Your reputation: It is not uncommon for those with DUI convictions to notice that others behave differently toward them. You may find that the information concerning your arrest and conviction becomes public, either through local media or law enforcement social media. This may permanently damage your reputation.

The best defense against a DUI conviction is to never forget that drinking and driving may have devastating consequences. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in a situation where your future is in question, having legal assistance is advisable.