What Happens When You get a DWI?

I recently went to court for a DWI record, and now I've seen all the awful stuff that can happen after one stupid mistake. I hope you take my story to heart, and don't drink and drive. And if not being a dangerous driver isn't enough deterrent, then take a look at the huge, expensive headache I had to deal with (and not just the morning after).

I shouldn't have been driving, I knew it then, but I had to get my car home or it I knew it was heading to the impound lot. That was the first mistake on my my path to a DWI arrest -- one of the most prevalent crimes in the United States.

I hadn't driven more than two blocks when I saw police lights in my rear view mirror, I tried to stay calm, but the officer could tell that I had been drinking right away. Asked me to take a breathalyser test, but I refused to take it -- it was my second mistake. I would have gotten my license revoked no matter what, but by refusing the breathalyser, the minimum suspension went from six months to a year, and tacked on a big fee ($500) to get my license back.

After being arrested, my car was impounded ($240), I spent the night in jail (awful), and I had to go to court first thing in the morning. I was given a big fine ($800), but because it was my first offense, I promised to take alcohol deterrent classes. Those classes weren't cheap either ($75 state fee, $200 for classroom fees).

And now, three months later, I've spent nearly $2,000 on just my first offense, I have a restricted license and can hardly get a job. I searched my public records and there is a big, glaring DWI arrest record first thing. I haven't even seen what it will do to my insurance bill next time around, but I've read it will shoot up 200 to 300 percent.

Now I have to see if I can get my record expunged, which I'm sure will tack on a bunch more money.

Please, learn from my mistake! Don't drink and drive unless you're ready to turn your $40 night out into your $2,040 mistake -- not to mention the chance of hurting or killing someone while you're driving. And the worst part of it all wasn't the money lost, it was the embarrassment at knowing that anyone can find my DWI record online.

Make sure your record isn't making you look bad, keep track of your arrests and other public records online.

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