Let us say that you were returning home after attending a party to celebrate the new job you are about to start. Law enforcement pulled you over for a broken taillight but smelled alcohol on your breath.
The officer arrested you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. You are understandably nervous. Your future looks bleak. How will a DUI conviction affect you?
South Dakota penalties
As a first offender, you stand to lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 30 days, although license suspension of up to a year is possible. You will also pay a fine of up to $1,000, and you could even face jail time, depending on the circumstances of your arrest.
Problems with work
The loss of your license will likely be your initial concern because you are about to start a new job. How will you get to work? How will the new company treat you if they discover a DUI mark on your record? If any aspect of your position requires driving for the company, your new employer could terminate you before you even begin. Future job-hunting efforts could also present difficulties. Most employers today perform background searches on applicants; a recruiter may pass you up in favor of an applicant with a clean record.
You could also face problems with your auto insurance carrier. Given the DUI conviction, the agency may regard you as a high-risk driver. You could expect the insurer either to cancel your policy or issue a new one with premiums that could be two to three times higher than what you pay now.
With a DUI conviction on your record, you could have difficulty renting a home, obtaining a loan from a bank or obtaining licensing or certification needed to enter certain professions. In short, a conviction for drunk driving can play havoc with your future. If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of DUI, explore your legal options without delay. Seek an advocate who will challenge the various aspects of your arrest, help you regain your driving privileges and ensure the best outcome possible for your case—and your plans for the future.