If you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI), a conviction could have a significant impact on your life. Not only could you be impacted personally, but if you are a small, medium, or large business owner, your business could suffer as well.
The consequences of a conviction are sure to be felt across nearly every facet of your life. It is important to understand the DUI penalties so you can take action to protect yourself and your business.
When Can You Be Charged with a DUI in CA?
There are several instances in which you can be charged with a DUI in California. Drivers are most commonly charged with drunk driving when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels exceed the legal limit of .08%.
However, this is not the only time you can be charged with drunk driving. In fact, anytime you are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in control of a motor vehicle, you can expect to face DUI charges. Even if you are sleeping in your car and pulled over to the side of the road, when you were stopped by police, if your BAC levels reach .08% or more, DUI charges could apply.
CA Implied Consent Laws
If police request you submit to chemical blood alcohol testing, you are required to do so according to California implied consent laws under CA Vehicle Code Section 23612. Although you do not have a legal obligation to give your consent, failure to do so means your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked whether you are ultimately acquitted or convicted.
For this reason, it is always in your best interests to agree to chemical blood alcohol testing. Your Los Angeles DUI attorney will be ready to help you craft a compelling defense strategy no matter what the results of your chemical BAC test or breathalyzer are. It should be noted that while you are required to give your consent to chemical BAC testing, you are not obligated to agree to blow into a breathalyzer.
Business Consequences of a DUI Conviction
The impact a DUI conviction will have on your business is undeniable. Here are some of the most common criminal penalties and collateral consequences associated with a California DUI as a business owner:
Your Driver’s License Will Be Suspended
If you are convicted of drunk driving, you can expect your driver’s license to be suspended. If you are a first-time offender, your driver’s license may be suspended for a shorter amount of time than someone who has habitual DUI convictions on their record.
Without a valid driver’s license, you may be unable to drive yourself to work each day, deliver products to consumers, and otherwise complete business responsibilities.
Your Professional License Could Be Suspended
It is also possible that your DUI conviction could result in the suspension or revocation of your professional license. Depending on the industry you work in, you may be required to obtain and maintain licensure as part of your business operations. If your professional license is suspended, you may be prohibited from continuing to do business for the duration of your suspension.
Your Business Insurance Rates Could Increase
When you have a DUI conviction on your record, your insurance rates will increase. Not only do you need to be worried about your auto insurance rates increasing, but your business insurance rates could also increase.
Once the insurance company gets word of your conviction, they could increase the amount you are required to pay in premiums to the point where you may not be able to afford these costs. Additionally, insurance companies have the option of dropping you from your insurance policy, which could leave your business open to liability in the event of an accident or injury.
Your Professional Reputation Could Be Destroyed
Having a DUI on your record could also destroy your professional reputation. Small business owners rely on their reputations to bring new business and maintain current customers and clientele. If you have a DUI conviction on your record, you may receive negative reviews online, and your community could look down on you, meaning your business’s reputation would be in jeopardy.
How to Respond to a DUI as a Business Owner
People make mistakes. Even if you are ultimately convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important that you take responsibility for your actions if you hope to protect your business.
There are several ways you can help maintain your relationship with the community and take steps to avoid this conviction destroying your business. The public may be willing to forgive you for your mistakes if you take steps to show them that you are genuinely embarrassed, ashamed, and sorry for your actions. Some potential responses include:
Issuing a Public Apology
Many communities post information regarding DUI arrests and convictions on social media and local newspapers. If your arrest and conviction are picked up by reporters in your community, it may be in your best interests to issue a public apology.
You can use your business’s social media profiles or issue a formal apology in the local newspaper to show your community that you are expressing genuine remorse for your actions. It may also be a good idea to reach out to local schools and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for opportunities to speak out about the dangers of drunk driving.
Starting a Local Safe-Ride Program
Another option is to implement a safe-ride program in your community. Depending on your area, public transportation may not be readily available 24/7. You can partner with a local rideshare provider or taxi service to ensure individuals who have been drinking have a safe way to get home without having to resort to drunk driving.
Donating Money for Drug and Alcohol Awareness
One of the best ways to rehabilitate your image and protect your business’s reputation after a DUI is to donate money for alcohol and drug awareness. By making a financial contribution to local charities or schools, you can help fund DUI crash simulations and the costs of hiring DUI prevention advocates.
Clear Your Name with Help from an LA DUI Attorney
If you are facing drunk driving accusations, it is critical that you take action to clear your name of the charges against you. Your business could suffer in multiple ways if you are convicted. Defending yourself in court or entering a pretrial diversion program may be the best option if you hope to avoid a guilty verdict and get back to your life.
Meet with an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney to craft a compelling defense. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as today by calling our office or completing our quick contact form.