The Legal Consequences of Drunk Driving Accidents: 10 Things You Need to Know 2024


Drunk driving accidents are a serious problem that can result in devastating consequences.

Not only can they cause injury or death to innocent individuals, but they can also lead to serious legal consequences for the driver. If you or someone you know has been involved in a drunk accident, here are 10 things you need to know about the legal consequences.

Criminal charges

If a person is found to be conducted under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the legal consequences can be severe, and it’s important to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney, such as an Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the driver could face criminal charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony.


License suspension

A drunk managing conviction can lead to the suspension of the driver’s license. The length of the suspension will vary depending on the state and the circumstances of the case.

Civil lawsuits

In addition to criminal charges, the driver may also face civil lawsuits from any individuals who were injured or killed in the accident. These lawsuits can result in significant financial damages for the driver.

Increased insurance premiums

When a driver is involved in a drunk accident, one of the most immediate consequences they may face is increased insurance premiums. This is because insurance companies view drunk driving as a significant risk factor and are likely to charge higher rates for drivers who have a history.


Why do insurance premiums increase?

When a driver is involved in a drunk driving accident, their insurance company will likely be required to pay for any damages or injuries that resulted from the accident. This can include medical bills, property damage, and even legal fees if the driver is sued. As a result, insurance companies may view the driver as a higher risk and may charge higher premiums to offset that risk.

How much will premiums increase?

The exact amount that insurance premiums will increase will vary depending on the driver’s history, the severity of the accident, and the insurance company’s policies. In some cases, drivers may see their premiums double or even triple after a drunk driving conviction.

How long will the increased premiums last?

The length of time that the driver’s insurance premiums will be increased will depend on the insurance company’s policies and the driver’s circumstances. In some cases, the increased premiums may only last for a few years, while in others, they may remain elevated for several years or even permanently.

How can drivers reduce their insurance premiums?

If a driver has been involved in a drunk driving accident and is facing increased insurance premiums, there are a few steps they can take to reduce their rates. One option is to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies. Another option is to take defensive driving courses or attend alcohol education classes, as some insurance companies may offer discounts to drivers who complete these programs.


Ignition interlock device

Some states require drivers convicted of drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. This device requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the car will start. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start.

Jail time

Depending on the severity of the accident and any prior convictions, the driver may be sentenced to jail time. This can range from a few days to several years, depending on the circumstances.


In addition to any criminal penalties, the driver may also be required to complete a rehabilitation program. This can include alcohol or drug treatment, counseling, or other forms of therapy.

Personal consequences

In addition to the legal and financial consequences of a drunk driving accident, there can also be significant personal consequences for the driver involved. These consequences can range from damage to relationships and reputations to psychological trauma and feelings of guilt and shame.


• Damage to relationships

A drunk driving accident can have a profound impact on the driver’s relationships with friends and family members. Loved ones may feel betrayed or angry, and the driver may struggle to regain their trust and respect. In some cases, relationships may be irreparably damaged, leading to long-lasting emotional pain.

• Reputational damage

In addition to damaging personal relationships, a drunk driving accident can also damage the driver’s reputation. This can be particularly true for individuals who hold high-profile or public-facing positions, such as politicians or business leaders. A drunk driving conviction can tarnish their public image and make it difficult to rebuild their reputation.

• Psychological trauma

Being involved in a drunk driving accident can be a traumatic experience that can have lasting psychological effects. Drivers may experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They may also struggle with feelings of guilt and shame, especially if the accident resulted in injury or death.

• Loss of employment

In some cases, a drunk driving conviction can also lead to the loss of employment. This is particularly true for individuals whose jobs involve driving, such as truck drivers or delivery drivers. Employers may view a drunk driving conviction as a liability and may choose to terminate the driver’s employment as a result.


Future employment

A drunk driving conviction can also make it difficult for the driver to find employment in the future. Many employers conduct background checks, and a criminal conviction could be a red flag for potential employers.


The best way to avoid the legal consequences of drunk driving accidents is to avoid driving under the influence in the first place. This means planning and making arrangements for a designated driver, calling a taxi or ride-share service, or simply abstaining from alcohol altogether.


In conclusion, the legal consequences of drunk driving accidents can be severe and long-lasting. If you or someone you know has been involved in a drunk driving accident, it is important to understand these consequences and to take steps to prevent future incidents. By doing so, we can help to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents and keep our roads safe for everyone.