Drinking and driving is a dangerous problem in the United States — every 52 minutes, one person is killed in an alcohol-involved crash. Intoxicated drivers aren’t the only victims; these accidents take the lives of innocent children, pedestrians, and sober drivers. If you’re someone who drives after a night of drinking, don’t wait until a court mandates an ignition interlock program to reconsider your behavior. By making different choices now, it’s possible to avoid consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life.
1. You Could Injure or Kill a ChildDrunk driving is not a victimless crime. If you drive while impaired, you run a significant risk of killing or injuring a child. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that alcohol was a factor in 19% of the crashes that killed children aged 14 and under. When your drunk driving hurts another person, the legal ramifications are serious. Prison time is just the start. The devastating emotional and psychological effects of killing a child can last a lifetime; it’s the single biggest reason why you shouldn’t drink and drive.
2. Drunk Driving Can Get You FiredIn the age of social media, a drunk-driving incident rarely stays hidden — especially if it involves an injury, death, or property damage. Employers rarely want to deal with negative public attention, so you’re likely to lose your job. The chances of job loss increase if you’re convicted and required to complete an ignition interlock program. It is legal for an employer to fire you for an off-the-clock driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction, especially if you’re an at-will employee. Some of the reasons that an employer may use for firing you after a DWI:
- A suspended driver’s license affects your ability to complete job duties
- The company has a policy against hiring people with criminal convictions
- Your conviction is a liability because you work with vulnerable populations
- Your position is one that requires trust, such as a teacher or doctor
- A state licensing board stripped you of your professional license
- The company is facing a negative backlash as a result of your conviction