There is a certain list of penalties that many people expect when someone is accused of, or convicted of, driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or some other substance. They probably suspect that the individual will lose his or her driver’s license. Their car is likely impounded, or at least out of their possession, for some time. They will have to pay fines, court costs and other financial penalties as a result of their intoxicated driving.

However, there are other consequences related to the intoxicated driving charge that can be just as damaging — or even more damaging — to the accused or convicted individual. The person could lose his or her job as a result of their criminal history, and they could also find it very difficult to find a suitable place to live. Their friends and family members may not think of them in the same way, or they may treat him or her differently than before.

We bring all of this up in light of the Michael Phelps DUI story that many people all across the country know about. Phelps was recently suspended six months by USA swimming for his second DUI, meaning that the man with the most gold medals (and indeed the most medals total) in Olympic history will have a tough time getting back into shape for his potential comeback in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Even all-time great athletes who are Olympians can’t escape the extended punishment of a drunk driving charge. It’s important to realize just how menacing a DUI charge can be, and those who are accused of such a crime need to get legal representation to defend their case — and protect their future.