Allegations of driving under the influence (DUI), also known as operating under the influence or OUI, can happen to anyone. Just recently, a prominent physician was accused of a DUI violation when leaving a local grocery store at 8:30 in the morning. The doctor has a reputation for saving lives and was honored with a “Doctor of the Year” award in 2009.
Dr. Kristin Howard was charged after she was involved in an accident when leaving the store. The doctor pled not guilty and is fighting the charges.
An OUI or DUI conviction in Massachusetts can have a negative impact on one’s life. As a result, in many situations it can be best to fight the charges.
Impact of a DUI conviction
These convictions can result in both short and long term impacts. Criminal punishments associated with the conviction can include a temporary loss of license, monetary penalties and imprisonment along with community service requirements. The severity of the penalties will vary depending on a wide range of factors. These factors can include whether there is a history of violations, whether a child was in the vehicle at the time and whether another person was injured.
An OUI or DUI conviction will likely also impact other areas of one’s life. Those looking for work will likely need to disclose the presence of the conviction on their employment application. In this tough economy, many employers receive applications from numerous qualified applicants. As a result, the conviction may make it more difficult to find employment.
The charge can also impact insurance rates. MSN Money estimates that even if no one was injured, a DUI can cost over $10,000. This amount takes into account insurance increases and bail costs as well as various fines and fees.
Additional financial impacts can come from places that people often do not expect. Some common possibilities include a rise to the cost of life insurance premiums and a cut to one’s paycheck due to lost wages. Wages can be impacted since those charged with a DUI may miss work due to court dates or community service requirements. Unless able to use vacation leave or sick time, employees are often not paid for this missed time.
Receiving an OUI or DUI charge can be intimidating, but it is important to note that pleading guilty in an attempt to make the problem go away is not wise. Contact an experienced OUI/DUI attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights are protected.