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Many people do not realize how easy it is to get a DWI until they see flashing lights and find themselves in the back of a police cruiser. If you are careful about how much you drink or rarely drink at all, how could something like this happen to you? Surprisingly, it's more common than you think. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.8 percent of Missouri residents admit to driving after drinking too much. If you are facing a DWI charge, consider the following consequences that you could face if convicted.

1. License suspension

Nobody wants to lose driving privileges, but if you receive a DWI conviction, this is exactly what might happen. The likelihood of a suspension—or worse, a revocation—is dependent on whether you have prior DWI arrests and convictions as well as how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of your arrest. Losing your license, even temporarily, will seriously disrupt your life. 

2. Difficulty of criminal record

You might underestimate the extent to which a DWI conviction can impact the rest of your life. Once you have a criminal record, though, you must disclose this fact on job applications, and it is public record for anybody who may be curious. Needless to say, it can make it difficult to resume your life as usual.

3. Fines and incarceration

Do not forget, too, that a DWI conviction is expensive. You can expect to pay a litany of fines and fees associated with the charge, and in addition, a judge may sentence you to a period of incarceration. Jail time means time away from work, which equates to lost income and further financial penalization. However, you do have legal rights when it comes to defending yourself against DWI charges.

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