We have given you extensive information about how being convicted of an OUI can ruin your opportunity to drive for the foreseeable future, but there are other ways that it can change your driving privileges. Even with a valid driver's license, factors such as the ones we will mention today may prevent you from driving normally. This has a huge impact on your ability to work, go to school, and can even affect your social life and similar relationships.
Your Actual License
After an OUI conviction, your actual driver's license changes when you are allowed by law to renew it. It will have a red star symbol imprinted on the license, alerting officers that you had a previous OUI conviction and warning them that they should be more diligent about sobriety testing if they are concerned about your level of impairment or whether you consumed ANY alcohol. Many people don't realize that you are prohibited from consuming ANY alcohol and driving following an OUI conviction for a minimum of one year. This can make your life difficult if law enforcement has the slightest amount of reasonable belief that you are operating with ANY amount of alcohol in your blood.
While the star symbol does not give officers an open door to harass you or discriminate against you in any way, it does present them with some valuable information since it is their duty to protect other motorists against potential hazards. If you have a conviction for this type of behavior already, a repeat offense is always possible, and they are forced to take measures to keep this from happening.
Others Who May Notice The Star
Police officers are not the only individuals who might notice the star and treat you just a bit differently for your own safety. For instance, a bartender who checks your identification may be more likely to ask you if you have a designated driver ready for when it is time to come home. Those who have no plan of action prepared for how they are going to go home may not be served a drink, unless they come back with a solution to the problem, such as a friend who volunteers to drive or the agreement that a cab will be called for you.
Although it is never okay for someone to discriminate against you, it could be a lot harder to buy or rent a vehicle with that star on your driver's license,. Technically speaking, it is the conviction that they are concerned about, and not the star per se, but the star is their first warning that you have that on your driving and criminal record. Reasons like these are among the many that should prompt you to find a professional OUI attorney as soon as you are arrested.
Your Insurance Rates
Your insurance rates will likely increase due to an OUI conviction. You may even be slapped with SR-22 reporting requirements and/or placed in a high risk insurance pool. Depending on your state and insurance company, your rates could increase by as much as 400%.