Get Ready to Empty Your Wallet
DUI’s are expensive. Law enforcement wants to stop drinking and driving, the best way to accomplish this is to make the conviction as costly as possible. Here are some examples of expenses associated with a DUI:
- Bail- a ride to jail can cost anywhere from $150–$2,500
- Towing and Impound-saying goodbye to your vehicle $100–$1,200
- Higher Insurance Premiums– a DUI on your record hurts insurance scores significantly $4,500-$10,000
- Defense Attorney-showing up with a lawyer to court $2,500-$5,000
- Court Fines- visiting the judge $150-$1,800
- Alcohol Treatment/Education-learning why you should not drink and drive $1,000-$2,500
- Licensing Fees-to be able to drive to work $150
- Jail Fee- making new friends $10-$50
- Jail Time-getting a pleasant night of sleep $330
- Sentencing- receiving your punishment $250
- Chemical Testing Fee-checking your blood $90
- Probation Supervision- making sure you are doing the right thing $600-$1,200
- Ignition Interlock Device-to prevent you from doing it again
- License Reinstatement- to get your license back $21-$100
- Community Service Supervision Fee – clean-up duty $60
- Alternate Transportation-when they do not let you drive $100-$1,000
- TOTAL $13,000–$27,000- could have bought a new car instead
These are just estimates of the costs associated with a DUI.
Now that you see what the costs are the next thing to go is your time.
Bye Bye Freedom
You will most likely spend the night in jail, depending on the extent of your charges you may find yourself spending multiple nights or even becoming a regular weekend visitor. Say goodbye to your social life. Then you have to show to your court appearances, time spent with an attorney and it does not stop there. You may have to see a probation officer regularly or sentenced to mandatory community service. Depending on the hours assigned you could spend many weeks picking up trash on the side of the road. None of these are things that you can put off or reschedule. Missing community service or a court appearance could result in spending more time in jail.
Start Calling Around
There is a good chance that you will have to surrender your license. Driving without a license means that if you are caught, you will face more fines and possibly more jail time. So don’t do it. Depending on your situation, you can apply to have a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to drive to and from work during certain daylight hours. You will probably be using Uber or calling a friend quite a bit during this phase.
What is Interlock?
Interlock is an ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID and BAIID) is a breathalyzer for your vehicle. The driver has to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the car. If you blow into it when you are over the set limit, your vehicle will not start. A service monitors these, usually, the same one that installs, that you will pay monthly for however long you have been ordered to have the device.
Along with the court fees, jail fees, and attorney’s fees, there is also the matter of insurance. If you are charged with a DUI, it can cause drastic increases in your insurance premium due to the risk factor associated with it. Another very unfortunate product of a DUI is you could lose your job. Maybe it is all the time missed, or maybe you have a job that requires you to drive. Many commercial auto policies do not allow drivers with DUI convictions.
So now what could have just been the cost of a cab ride has cost you thousands and possibly your job. There are so many ride services that DUI’s are pretty inexcusable these days. Driving under the influence is not only expensive but could cost you your life or someone else’s. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has produced a national listing of sober/safe ride programs. Save the number for the one in your area in your cell phone, so you always have it on you.
The real cost: Alcohol-Related Fatalities.
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