No one wants to get a DUI. You know it can affect your driver’s license, come with expensive fees and fines, impact your car insurance price and might even include jail time. But do you know the possible short-term and long-term implications of getting a DUI in Georgia? One thing about Georgia is that a conviction for DUI stays on your record for life. Let’s look at what else could happen and how to make the best of it if you already have a DUI.
What Can Happen to Your Georgia Driver’s License If You Get a DUI?
If you get a DUI, chances are that your driver’s license will be suspended, at least temporarily. You won’t be allowed to drive any car (whether it belongs to you or is a borrowed car) until your license is in good standing again. Depending upon the circumstances of the DUI, this might only be for 90 days, or it could be much longer.
If you already have a DUI, make sure to do everything required of you to get your license back and follow all the rules in doing so. This could include paying fees, taking a drunk driving education program, completing court-mandated community service, and possible jail time. You will want to consult with an attorney, so you know your rights, but meet every deadline, pay every fine, and document that you have done so. This will help to get your license back as soon as possible.
Can I Get Car Insurance in Georgia After a DUI?
Yes. You may have to shop around to find an insurance agency that will handle high-risk drivers. You will most likely be legally required to get car insurance after a DUI – whether you have a car or not. If you have been convicted of DUI, you’ll most likely need to have an insurance company file an SR-22 certificate for you with the state, certifying that you have the minimum required liability car insurance. If you do not have a car, then you may have to purchase SR-22 non-owner’s car insurance.
Every driving violation you have (even a simple speeding ticket) can affect your future insurance. The good news is that this is a common problem, so insurance companies and insurance agents know how to give you judgment-free information and help you get an insurance policy that will work for you and get you back on the road.
How Much Does DUI Insurance in Georgia Cost?
It’s going to be around $2,000 on average per year for the basic liability. The average cost of the minimum required liability by the state of Georgia costs about $750 per year. Once you are considered a high-risk driver, you will be paying more for your insurance.
Remember, you will have to shop around to find an insurance company that will insure you and work within your budget. You may have to pay these expensive rates for three years. But if you work hard to drive safely and not get anymore dings on your record, keep your car insurance policy in effect with no lapses and do everything else the court requires, there will come a day when this will all be behind you.
Can Getting a DUI in Georgia Affect My Employment?
Yes. Most employers today perform background checks that would bring to light the fact that you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction. This could affect your ability to get hired for a job. If you are currently employed, depending upon what you do for a living, whether it requires driving, and the specific company you work for, the consequences can range from being embarrassed or having others judge you to getting fired.
If your employer or a potential employer asks you about your DUI, be honest. If this was a one-time event, the more you can stress that to them and share what steps you have taken to remedy the situation (e.g., paying all fines, taking required education, quitting drinking, always having a designated driver, etc.), the better. It’s best to present the situation as an unfortunate mistake from which you have learned. Let them know it won’t be a problem going forward.
Can Getting a DUI Affect My Housing Chances in Georgia?
Yes. Landlords also use background checks to screen potential tenants. You could run into a similar situation when looking for an apartment as you could when looking for a job. The best strategy is to be honest. Demonstrate that you have taken care of all legal requirements and that you have learned from your mistake and are moving on from it.
Can Getting a DUI Affect My Education?
Yes. Some Georgia schools will not admit students who have had a DUI. Also, there are scholarship programs that will not award scholarships to students who have had a DUI. If you run up against this, consider consulting an attorney to make sure you know your rights, but you may need to consider going to a different school or paying for your education through a different route.
What Can I Do After a DUI to Make the Situation Better?
Never drink and drive. If you choose to drink, make sure that you have a solid plan for a ride before you start drinking, whether it’s a trusted sober friend or a rideshare service. One DUI is bad. More than one can be much worse as the legal ramifications increase, and others will view this as a pattern of behavior on your part. If you or a loved one thinks your drinking or chemical use is problematic, consider speaking with a counselor. Help is available.
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