Drunk driving is a serious issue in Louisiana and across the country. The purpose of harsh drunk driving laws is to keep the roads safe by deterring people from getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking.

However, as penalties grow harsher and safety advocates redouble their efforts, many drivers find themselves facing charges they may not deserve and penalties that cause long-term damage to their finances, families and livelihoods. If police have recently arrested you for drunk driving, you would do well to understand what to expect and to build an aggressive defense.

The high cost of a DUI conviction

There is no question that a DUI conviction is going to cost you money. In fact, after paying hundreds in fines, you must also consider the many other fees and expenses that often come with a drunk driving conviction. For example, you will have court costs to pay, jail fees and perhaps the expense of having your vehicle towed and impounded. Unfortunately, a DUI on your record can also affect you in many other ways, including the following:

  • Your arrest and court appearance will be a matter of public record, which many find damaging to their professional lives.
  • You will likely lose your driver’s license for up to a year, or you could lose it for even longer if this is not your first conviction.
  • The court may order probation and community service.
  • You may have to attend drunk driving school or alcohol counseling at your own expense.
  • The court may order you to install an ignition interlock on your vehicles, which includes the cost of installation and monthly fees.
  • Your car insurance will likely spike, perhaps to double or triple what you paid before your conviction.

Many of these consequences can have collateral damage. For example, without a driver’s license, you may be unable to get to work. You may also find you are missing more work days while you serve your time, perform community service or attend counseling sessions. It is also possible that a drunk driving conviction will mean the end of your employment.

These are enormous risks to take when you decide to face your DUI charges without the advice and guidance of a skilled legal professional. Your attorney can evaluate every piece of evidence to determine if police violated your rights at any point before, during or after your arrest. Having an aggressive advocate on your side may help you achieve a more positive outcome.