It’s important to follow the rules of road safety while driving at all times, and one of the main ones is not to drive while intoxicated. This goes for alcohol and other drugs, given that drugs apart from alcohol were involved in about 18% of motor vehicle fatalities. Getting a DWI can affect your lifestyle and career, and the following are five ways it can do so.

1. Inability to Work Due to Injury

When you drive while intoxicated, you’re not in the best state to make rational decisions behind the wheel and stay safe. Getting into an accident comes with a risk of suffering injuries whose degree varies. In fact, around the world, 1.25 million people die in road accidents annually. Between 20 to 50 million others sustain permanent disabilities or serious injuries every year as well. As such, you may very well end up unable to continue performing your designated duties at work. Depending on the extent of your injuries, this may be for a brief period or a lengthy one. During this time, work must go on and so your employer may be forced to find a replacement for you either on a temporary or part-time basis.

2. Potential Job Loss

When you get charged with DWI, you risk losing your job. This is especially the case if there are clauses around this in your contract. Different states have different regulations, as do different private employers. This means that even if your arrest is not publicized and does not impact your performance at work, they still let you go because you were charged for driving while intoxicated.

3. Negative Effect on Job Performance

Getting a DWI can negatively impact your job performance due to related issues like stress. This will be compounded if your job has strict guidelines on performance, reputation, and its employees’ images in general. Certain industries pride themselves on having a team of professionals that projects a solid and upright image. Putting a mark on this image may see you miss out on otherwise beneficial employment. If you work as a professional machinist, for example, you could earn $90,000 or even more on average, so losing your job as a result of a DWI may not be worth it in the long term.

4. Decreased Prospects for Future Employability

Having a DWI stamped on your license can do a lot of harm to your future employment. Even if you have an easy time-making application for a new position, you may strike out when potential employers see the record of a DWI. If you’re in an industry like law, medicine, professional driving, public or government work, or are required to be licensed or work with children, many employees may associate your DWI with qualities that they generally don’t want their employees to have. This will make it hard for you to secure employment despite being qualified and experienced.

5. License Suspensions

Finally, one of the effects of being charged with a DWI is having your license suspended. These include professional licenses and driver’s licenses. For professional licenses, the governing body that handles licensing in your specific industry may revoke your license and cite failure to adhere to set standards. This alone would make it hard, if not impossible, to keep working in your current career. If it’s your driver’s license that gets suspended, you may have a hard time getting to and from work. The issue is worse in the case of work that requires you to drive, such as being a delivery or cab driver.

These effects that getting a DWI can have on your career make it not worth your while at all. Ensure that you maintain a lifestyle that’s not at odds with your career to avoid the risk of ending up on the wrong side and stunting your career with one blow.