Driving home after having a few drinks may not seem like a big deal. After all, it's only a few blocks, and you have driven it countless times. In fact, you may have driven home before when you were in worse shape, and you made it home without an arrest or an accident. For these reasons, you may feel like a DUI arrest is not a big deal. You will pay your fine, and it will be over.
It's not that simple. Kansas is easily one of the toughest states for DUI penalties, including mandatory jail time even for a first offense. You will certainly have fines to pay and community service to perform if you are convicted. You may have to attend a driving class or alcohol counseling. Even then, your troubles are far from over.
The charge that keeps on giving
Once you have completed all your punitive obligations, you may feel like you can begin to get your life back on track. Unfortunately, having a DUI conviction on you record may affect many areas of your life for years to come, for example:
- Your job: The amount of time off work needed to deal with your DUI conviction may be more than an employer will tolerate. Additionally, if your job requires you to drive, employers may not be willing to pay the insurance it will take to keep you on the payroll. Finally, some jobs stipulate that DUI or other criminal convictions are not acceptable if you wish to retain employment.
- Background checks: Searching for a new job may be just as complicated. Employers who see your conviction may be unwilling to take a chance on you. Other people base important decisions on background checks as well, including some landlords, as well as those responsible for college admissions and approving financial aid.
- Auto insurance: A DUI conviction places you in a high-risk category, so you can expect your insurance rates to spike if your provider does not terminate your coverage.
- Driver's license: You have 14 days to appeal the suspension of your Kansas driver's license. If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to drive legally, even if the court does not convict you of DUI.
Of course, there may be other factors that influence the severity of these consequences, for example, if you had an accident while under the influence or had a child in the vehicle with you. Whatever your circumstances, taking steps to building a strong defense against the charges is advisable. Having a solid defense strategy may allow you to quickly return to your life a little wiser than before.