What many people may not realize about drunk driving charges is that jail time is not the only penalty associated with such an offense. There are many other ways in which a DUI/DWI charge can punish a person, both directly and indirectly.
In a financial sense, a drunk driving charge is incredibly punishing. The accused person has to spend a lot of money just to get his or her life back in order. Consider this: in the wake of a drunk driving charge, you will likely lose your license and your car to impounding, you will have to enroll in alcohol education classes to help you with your drinking tendencies, your car insurance will skyrocket, and all of your court appearances, fines and other financial penalties associated with the offense will need to be paid.
Individually these factors are expensive, but all together they can cripple your financial outlook for years.
Then there are the personal and professional consequences of a DUI. Friends may look at you in a different light and treat you differently. You may lose your job or find that getting a new job is difficult do to your criminal history now. You may not be able to go to events that you want to because you are unable to get there without your car and/or license.
On top of all these things hangs the possibility of jail time. Do we really need to bolster our drunk driving laws, as this article suggests? Will that really deter people from driving under the influence?