Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix (+ 5 Ways It Costs You)

Drinking and Driving

Drinking a beer or smoking a joint are two of the most popular ways for Americans to decompress after a long day at work or hang out with their friends to have fun. While this is a perfectly reasonable activity if done in moderation, it is never okay to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking or taking drugs of any kind. 

Driving while intoxicated is a horrible decision that can cost you in a large number of ways. People who drive drunk are affecting more than just themselves, and it’s important to understand how you can potentially ruin others’ lives. 

We’ll talk about the difference between DWI and DUI, how each one affects your auto insurance and your criminal record, and what you can do to recover if you drive with alcohol or drugs in your system. 

#1 – You Can Injure Yourself and Others

When you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you’re making a decision that often results in horrible harm to yourself and others. You can’t drive safely when you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. Your reaction times aren’t good, and your vision is too blurry to see what’s in front of you. 

Getting into a car accident due to drinking and driving means you won’t be able to do your normal daily activities. Injuries that result from a car accident may result in surgery, missing work, and not being able to walk normally or exercise and stay healthy. 

After you have recovered from being intoxicated, there is also the extreme guilt you will feel if you hurt others while driving drunk. Remember driving is an activity where everybody is at risk of being hurt when one person makes a selfish decision. The world is greater than just you. Don’t hurt others; otherwise, you will have to live with the consequences.

#2 – You Can Lose Your Auto Insurance

If you drive under the influence or while intoxicated, you also risk losing your insurance coverage. Auto insurance companies view drunk driving as one of the biggest signs of a risky driver. And while some companies may be more forgiving than others, every insurance company is going to drastically change your coverage after a DUI or a DWI.

These two charges have some minimal differences depending on what state you’re in. DUI’s may include driving under the influence of drugs, whereas DWI’s typically only refer to alcohol charges. DWIs may result in stricter charges than DUIs, and they will cause your insurance company to react strongly.

You are not going to be able to cut your car insurance costs for years after getting a DUI or DWI, especially if you end up injuring or killing someone as a result of your drunk driving. If you can demonstrate great driving behavior for a long time, you will have a better chance of getting car insurance again for more affordable rates. Practice safety measures to avoid drunk driving accidents.

#3 – You Can Lose Your Job

Many employers are going to lose trust in you if they find out you were pulled over for drunk driving. They think you can’t make good choices, and you’ll be a liability to the company. 

Getting fired due to a drunk driving charge is a big deal because it’s on your record forever. Unless you get it expunged, other prospective employers are going to be wary of hiring you. You will need to research what jobs are most likely to hire people who have been arrested for a DUI or a DWI. 

If you want to apply for a job that includes lots of driving, like being a delivery driver, an Uber driver, a post office worker, or similar careers, you will need many years of clean driving experience before you can get hired. 

If your job doesn’t involve driving, you have a better chance of retaining it after an accident or a DUI or DWI. 

#4 – You Can Lose the Respect of Family 

There is a lot of stigma that follows people after a DUI or a DWI charge. There are connotations of irresponsibility, recklessness, and stupidity that follow you after making such a poor decision. If you choose to drive under the influence, you are risking losing the respect of your family, friends, and colleagues. 

At the same time, loved ones need to be more aware of when someone in their life has an alcohol problem or a drug addiction. Sometimes driving under the influence is not a selfish choice, but rather one showing the person is not in control of their decision-making. Drugs and alcohol make it hard to make responsible, smart choices. 

If someone you know or love has an addiction, get them into a rehabilitation program. The experts at a rehab clinic often have years of experience working with others who have addictions, or they may have first-hand experience. There are a range of treatment methods out there to help cure addiction before it’s too late. 

#5 – You Can Spend a Lot of Money on Medical Bills

After getting into an accident after drinking, you often have to go to the hospital or the doctor to get potential injuries checked on. Depending on the quality of medical coverage you have, you may find the hospital bills too steep for your pockets. 

Always make sure you find a way to get some sort of medical coverage in case of getting into a car accident. If you don’t have medical, getting a car insurance policy that covers trips to the emergency room is another good option. 

If you are low-income, you can look into Medicaid, or senior citizens can get Medicare. Not having proper medical insurance should be a huge motivator in making good decisions with drugs and alcohol. Driving under the influence and getting into a wreck without good insurance will be a huge financial mountain to climb. 

You can see now how devastating it is to drive after drinking or taking drugs. Always have someone you trust around if you plan on going to a party with substances. They can help guide your decision-making and ensure you are responsible for your actions. It will severely cost you in the long run. 

Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help people understand how to overcome the risks of drunk driving. 

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