By Omar Bississo
Thinking about drinking and driving?
You don’t have to worry about a DUI if you never put yourself in a position to get arrested for one. If you’re going to drink, plan ahead so that you’re not behind the wheel. Many innocent people have been charged with DUI, even though they were not drunk.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get your charge dropped, dismissed, or reduced, going through the court process is tedious, emotionally and psychologically draining, and very costly. In many cases, you may actually still get convicted, even if you weren’t actually driving under the influence! Of course, you may also get killed or seriously injured, or kill another driver. The risk to your safety and the risk of other charges related to a DUI accident alone are good reason to never drive under the influence.
But let’s examine the financial costs too. Next time you’re thinking about drinking and driving, do this simple math.
Let’s assume you’re out with friends or at another person’s home. You start drinking and before you know it, you’re a little tipsy or intoxicated. Let’s further assume that you live far from your house, and let’s even assume your car will get towed if you leave it overnight. If you do the right thing, your costs will look like this:
Cost of Uber/Lyft/Taxi: $15-$75.
Cost of Getting car towed and retrieved: $150-$250.
So you can see roughly you will pay $165-$325 assuming the highest costs possible AND assuming your car will get towed (which usually does not happen).
Now let’s look at what a DUI charge will cost you on average:
Attorney’s fees: $2,000- $7,500.
Administrative car impound fee: $175-300.
Criminal Fines: $250- $2,500.
Administrative Court Costs: $200.
Alcohol Safety Classes $600- $1200.
Ignition Interlock costs: $80 Installation plus $70-$80/month for 6 -12 months.
So a DUI charge can be very costly–well into the thousands of dollars. Even if you win, you will incur attorney’s fees in the process.
Throw in the incalculable costs of a one year license suspension, permanent criminal record, and employment consequences, and the decision becomes easier.
So there it is: The next time you’re thinking about drinking and driving, do that simple math and then ask yourself if it’s worth it, both financially and from a safety perspective.
If you’re reading this post after you received a DUI, please contact us and we’ll try to be helpful.