Have you been involved in a DUI related accident? If you were the one at fault, there are several possible physical, emotional and legal consequences which you may have to deal with immediately and for some time to come.
Here are some of the effects you can expect to experience following a DUI accident.
The severity of outcomes from a DUI accident tend to be closely related to the severity of the accident itself. This is most evident in the injuries sustained by the driver and by anyone else caught in the accident.
Injuries most often include broken legs; shattered knees; neck injuries such as whiplash; broken ribs; cracked sternum; spinal cord injury leading to paralysis; and brain injuries. Of course, there are many instances in which victims do not survive – annual DUI related fatalities routinely top the 10, 000 mark in the US.
The weight of your responsibility in a DUI related accident can bring out a wide range of emotions. These generally run the gamut from disbelief, denial, guilt and anger to embarrassment, sadness, depression and loneliness.
Your emotional reaction to the accident may also reveal itself in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This mental health disorder can result in flashbacks, nightmares and difficulty sleeping or concentrating. You may also experience the urge to avoid human interaction, as well as heightened irritability and jumpiness.
As time passes and with the help of trained professionals you may find that you are able to move on to feelings of acceptance and hope.
In the aftermath of a DUI related accident, many drivers find that relationships with their loved ones become strained. This can lead to irreparable damage, depending on how you handle the situation.
Some drivers withdraw from family and friends because of their shame at being responsible for the accident. Others feel that their loved ones blame them for the effects DUI penalties, such as fines or jail time, have on their family.
Laws relating to drunk driving differ by state. Furthermore, although you will find that the penalties for a DUI conviction become harsher with each repeat offense, the exact penalties are not the same in different states.
For this reason, if you are charged with a DUI offense, it is wise to hire an attorney who is versed in DUI procedures in the state the accident occurred in. The Law Offices of Emroch & Kilduff, P.C., for example, is one Virginia-based firm you can contact for consultation and clarification of state laws.
Common penalties you could face include:
- Jail or prison time
- Community service
- License suspension or total cancelation
- Restricted driving permit
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- Mandatory participation in alcohol awareness and prevention programs
Being responsible for a DUI accident can have many negative effects on various aspects of your life. As you begin to come to terms with your DUI accident, seek out professional advice and assistance to help you cope with all of its repercussions.