Before you consider driving under the influence of alcohol, stop and think about the consequences of getting caught. You may think, I’ll just have fines to pay and my license will be suspended for a few months, big deal. But it is a big deal. Even if you avoid the worst-case scenario of getting into an accident and harming yourself or others, you will at the very least need to “deal” with fines and loss of license in addition to taking a course on alcohol treatment and performing community service. But did you know that a DUI charge will not only affect you now, but in the future, too?
First of all, your insurance will go through the roof. For example, an 18-year-old girl with a 1999 Chevy pays around $3,800 a year for insurance. If she is charged with a DUI, that will jump to $4,200. It can take years for a charge to be dropped from your record, if ever. And, if you cancel or lose your insurance, the Registry will be notified, preventing you from driving since your car will become unregistered.
Second, some colleges or employers may reject your application if you have been charged with a DUI. Finally, your reputation will go down the tube. Your parents will lose their trust in you; drinking while underage and driving while intoxicated shows them that you are not responsible. Equally important, many will not want you to drive them around. Getting trust back is very hard and takes time, some may never fully trust you again. Most newspapers publish police logs with names and charges, so do not assume the world will not find out what you did.
All in all, drinking and driving is not worth the consequences, no matter how old you are. So, next time you reach for those keys, think twice about what you are about to do, or there may not be a next time.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.