An entrepreneur’s journey is a mix of excitement and apprehension. The idea of establishing your dream startup is alluring. But you may face endless roadblocks down the line. It takes immense hard work, courage, and conviction to overcome these challenges and fulfill your entrepreneurial goals. At the same time, you must stay ahead of all potential hindrances and avoid them in the first place. Most challenges are avoidable, provided you understand their implications and do your bit to steer clear of them. A DUI conviction is among the avoidable issues that can affect your business in more than one way. Let us explain why you must do your best to avoid DUI risks.
Loss of driving privileges
A DUI conviction can translate into the loss of your driving privileges in most cases. You can imagine the inconvenience of hiring a cab or taking public transport for commuting to client meetings, conferences, and business events. You do not have the independence that comes with your own vehicle, and it can lead to stress and loss of productivity in the long run. You may end up getting late for appointments and meetings, or even missing them altogether. Avoiding drunk driving should be a priority as it can save you from getting into the situation in the first place.
Besides depriving you of driving independence, a DUI conviction can cause immense damage to your reputation as a business owner. The worst part is that the word spreads faster than you imagine as most communities publish DUI arrests and accident reports. Also, a police record is the last thing you want as an entrepreneur. Clients and partners are often wary of having business relationships with people with criminal offense records. Things can worsen if you get a bad name for injuring or killing someone due to your negligent behavior. Driving safely goes a long way in protecting your reputation in the long run.
Since all states have stringent DUI laws, you cannot escape the legal liabilities of being on the wrong side of the law. In fact, the punishment may be harsher than in some states. The authorities may revoke your license, impose hefty penalties, and put you behind bars. If you face these charges, you must hire a specialist DUI lawyer to create a viable defense strategy and minimize the impact of the charges. But you can still expect disciplinary actions such as random court-ordered alcohol tests, orders to take counseling sessions, and attending alcohol education meetings. Even if you see these actions as lighter forms of punishment, you may waste your precious time.
Increase in insurance rates
Another grave concern about DUI charges is the significant increase in insurance rates down the line. You may be allowed to resume driving again, but expect your insurance rates to go sky-high after a DUI conviction on your record. Insurance companies charge higher premiums if they do not consider a driver safe. It means you will have to spend thousands on vehicle insurance. So you end up pressing your personal and business budgets with additional expenses year after year. Not to mention, long cab bills are equally painful as you have to incur them during the license revocation period.
Penalties and jail time
The worst part of a DUI conviction is the possibility of heavy penalties and jail time. If you are proved to be guilty of negligence leading to a mishap, you may have to serve both. Incarceration for a first-offense DUI, which most states consider a misdemeanor, can run for one to two days or up to 2.5 years. The duration depends on the laws in your state and the circumstances surrounding your case. Penalties can run in thousands, and they can disrupt your personal finances and business funds. Serving jail time means you will be off work for the period. Nothing is worse than leaving your startup in the hands of your employees as you cannot trust them enough. Even if you have a trusted person managing your business, there is always a chance of making wrong decisions in your absence.
Being convicted of a DUI offense is a serious matter, even more for startup entrepreneurs. The worst part is that you can expect these implications despite being a careful driver with a first-time offense. Your reputation and legal standing take a blow, but you can do your bit to repair them. Finding a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense cases is the best option you have. Get the professional on board sooner than later. They can help you mitigate the effects of a DUI conviction and get your business and reputation on track again. Most importantly, commit to safe driving every time you are on the road.
Author Bio –
Amy Witt is a content strategist. She specializes in diverse niches like healthcare, law, travel, and lifestyle. Her writeups feature in industry-leading publications.