You likely already know about the consequences the court can impose, such as fines and time in jail, for a drunk driving conviction. Other consequences are also possible. Collateral consequences are those that the court doesn’t impose. These collateral consequences can impact your life long after the court-imposed penalties are served.
#1: Social stigma
The social stigma you might face because of a drunk driving conviction can mean you lose friends or that family members stop speaking to you. Depending on the terms of your court-imposed penalty, you might also notice that you can’t have the social life you had before. For example, you couldn’t go enjoy a night on Bourbon Street that includes alcohol if you are on probation.
#2: Employment effects
New Orleans is a fairly forgiving city for many things. Employment prospects for people who have criminal convictions or drunk driving convictions might not be as forgiving. Typically, you will have to count out any job that requires you to drive a vehicle. You may find that other jobs will pass you by because of the conviction, especially if the employer does a criminal background check on prospects.
Some employers might also frown upon hiring someone who will need time off for court, community service, court-imposed education programs and similar effects of a drunk driving conviction.
#3: Vehicle insurance increases
Your insurance premiums are likely going to rise after the conviction. A drunk driving conviction means that you are a high-risk driver. High-risk drivers pay more for auto insurance since there is a bigger chance they will have a claim filed against the policy due to an accident. This effect might not occur immediately; however, once the insurance company rechecks your driving record, you will notice the increase.
#4: Housing troubles
Any criminal conviction, including drunk driving, might make finding suitable housing difficult. Some landlords and rental companies do background checks. They might automatically disqualify you because of the drunk driving conviction. This is especially true if you are convicted of a felony charge in connection with the drunk driving.
#5: Removal of rights
A drunk driving conviction can do away with some of your rights. This can include your right to drive. You might have to use an ignition interlock device before you can drive. If you are convicted of a felony, you will also lose other rights, possibly including your right to vote and your right to own a firearm.