If you receive a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, there are numerous penalties involved. Even facing arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence comes with penalties.
Not only are there criminal consequences of a conviction, but there are additional issues that can have long-term effects.
Criminal and administrative penalties
According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, with a first OWI conviction, some of the criminal penalties include:
- Fine of up to $5,000
- Jail time of up to one year
- Court fees
- Potential license suspension
- Potential probation with random drug testing
- Possible required substance abuse education course or attendance of a victim impact panel
These consequences become more severe with subsequent OWI convictions, and license suspension is automatic.
Financial and other consequences
Having an OWI conviction on your record can affect a variety of things. Along with the financial penalties associated with the conviction, you may face additional financial troubles. You may have to miss work to attend court hearings or meet with your probation officer, and some companies may not allow employment for those with convictions on their record. Auto insurance premiums increase for years, and some insurance companies will not insure you as a high-risk driver.
If you have a suspended license, this means depending on others or on public transportation to get places. This can result in extra expenses and extended commute times.
If you are a student, a conviction may affect certain things such as scholarships or grants. If you are a career professional, an OWI may affect your ability to qualify for licensing.
According to the UC Davis Student Health and Counseling Services, there are many things that affect the absorption and metabolism of alcohol, so people who plan to drink should plan for alternate transportation to avoid a possible OWI.