Drunk driving is more than a mistake. It can change your life in countless negative ways. Before you hop behind the wheel, look at these reasons to avoid driving drunk. You will see why it’s never wise to operate a vehicle when you’ve been drinking.

Jail Is Not Fun

Did you know that you can go to jail if you’re arrested for drunk driving, even if it’s your first offense? The amount of time you’ll have to serve depends on your blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. A single day in jail is one too many, so don’t drink and drive.

You’re More Likely to Get in an Accident

Even a single drink slows down your reaction time. If your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, your reaction time will be so slow that you’ll have a hard time avoiding hazards on the road. At the same time, your inhibitions will be lowered, so you’ll be at a greater risk for driving recklessly. Combine those two things and it’s easy to see why drunk driving increases the risk of accidents.

You Might Kill Someone (Or Yourself)

When you drive drunk, you put your life and the lives of others at risk. In 2016, drunk drivers caused 10,497 deaths on the roads. Can you live with the guilt of killing someone else? Can your family live with the despair of losing you?

Your Insurance Premiums Will Rise

Insurance premiums are calculated based on risk. If you have a drunk driving conviction, your insurance company will view you as a huge liability and your premiums will skyrocket.

Your Claim Might Be Denied if You’re Injured in an Accident

If you are in an accident due to drunk driving, your insurance company might not pay to treat your injuries. You will have to use your own health insurance or pay out of pocket if this happens.

Fines and Fees Are Expensive

Do you have hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay for a DUI? Your first offense will cost $500 in fines, and the amount can go up if you get additional convictions. You also might have to hire a lawyer.

Interlock Devices Are Embarrassing

Imagine having to blow into a device before starting your vehicle. That might be OK when you’re in the car by yourself, but you’re sure to get some looks if you have any passengers.

You Could Lose Your License

You also run the risk of losing your license if you get a DUI. Some people choose this option instead of having an interlock device. You might not have to deal with the embarrassment of blowing into the device but getting to work will be problematic. It’s wise to avoid a DUI altogether so you don’t have to worry about this.

A Criminal Record Will Follow You

After you get convicted of a DUI, you will have a criminal record. This record can impact your life in many ways. You could have trouble getting a job or even finding a place to live if you have a criminal conviction. It’s best to keep your record clean.

Your Personal and Professional Relationships Can Take a Hit

You will lose respect if you drive drunk. Your friends, family, and coworkers will see you in a different light and might spend less time with you.

Never Drive Drunk

If you are intoxicated and need to go somewhere, arrange another ride. Call a ride-sharing service, get in a cab, or ask a friend. This simple action will protect you and others.