Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are just some of the legal terms used in various states when referring to drunk driving. Most of the time, people don’t realize the serious consequences of this particular offense until it’s too late. But did you know that in the United States, about 28 people die every day as a result of drunk driving accidents? If the statistics still don’t scare you into giving up your keys whenever you take a few drinks, then consider how a DUI conviction will impact your own life:

First Offense Non-Injury DUI

If, by some lucky happenstance, you did not kill, injure or cause a substantial property damage when you’re arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Liquor, then you will probably get off with a light punishment. You will most likely spend a few days in jail and be placed under probation for a few years once you get out. While on probation, you cannot commit the same offense, which means no drunk driving for a few years for you. There’s usually a hefty fine imposed (usually over $1000) and mandatory classes for DUI offender (another $1000 or more in costs). Your driver’s license will be suspended for a year, although you may get a restricted permit that lets you drive to and from work and in case you need to obtain medical care. And if you persist in driving during the suspension of your licenses, then you will face jail time if arrested. You insurance will go up or may even be cancelled, making it more difficult to get your license back as most states require insurance. Most of all, this puts you in danger of more serious consequences should you commit the same crime. And if you think you can run to another state and get a license there, you’re in for a rude awakening. The Interstate Driver’s License Compact and the National Driver’s Registry will let the state know about you DUI conviction. You can run, but you can’t drive.

Second and Subsequent Offenses

Punishment for repeat offenders are usually harsher. The length of time varies from state to state, but you will definitely face longer jail time than first timers. Additionally, your driving privileges will be suspended for a longer period, your DUI offender school tuition fees more expensive, your fines larger and your insurance rates will probably skyrocket to the point that you can no longer afford it. You will also be required to install an interlock ignition device where the car is disabled if you smell of alcohol.

Felony Prosecutions

If, as a result of your drunk driving, you killed or injured another person, then you will most likely face a criminal prosecution and be imprisoned for quite some time, even if this was your first time. In some states, subsequent DUI convictions can also result in felony prosecutions.

As you can see, there are serious consequences to a conviction for Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. So before getting behind the wheel, stop and carefully consider whether you are fit to drive. You might be better off calling your spouse or hailing a taxi.