The Costs of Driving Under the Influence

It’s rare that a person says, “I’m going to get behind the wheel drunk and go driving.” It’s unusual for a person to intentionally want to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Instead, what is more common is someone who has been drinking and is unexpectedly (or expectedly) drunk and needs to get themselves home and end up driving themselves. Since they drove to the bar (or party), why not drive home?

The problem is that driving under the influence creates many great risks – for the person driving as well as for those on the road! Furthermore, if a person were to get into an accident, the costs of getting a ticket for driving under the influence (DUI) is astronomical! You should know that there are financial, legal, emotional, psychological, and physical costs. Physical costs may include the stress of dealing with the aftermath of a DUI as well as any injuries incurred if a person gets into an accident due to driving under the influence.

For instance, if you’re convicted of driving with a high blood alcohol content you may be sentenced to serve up to six months in jail or pay a fine up to $1000. In addition to this, your vehicle may be impounded and you may be subject to pay storage fees. Fortunately, if this is your first conviction, then your license may be suspended for a period of six months. Your legal responsibility may be to complete a DUI program as well as an alcohol treatment program before your license is reinstated. It’s important to remember that DUI convictions stay on your record for a period of 10 years. Of course, if subsequent violations take place, there may be stricter penalties because of an already existing DUI.

There are two types of DUI’s that a person might experience:

Misdemeanor DUI – This conviction is given to someone who has been pulled over for driving under the influence but who has not caused injury or death to another person. A person receiving this conviction might have to spend time in jail and/or pay fines.

Felony DUI – This conviction is given to someone who harmed or killed another person(s) because of driving under the influence. A person with this type of DUI conviction might have to spend years in prison, depending on the severity of the case. In some cases, drivers have been convicted of a second-degree murder because of a felony DUI.

In addition to these possible infractions, a person who is convicted for DUI will likely have to endure significant financial costs. For instance, someone who has been arrested for a DUI might have to pay the following:

  • Towing or impound charges $350
  • Lawyers’ fees $3500
  • Court fines $1000
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation $750
  • Alcohol education program $500
  • Loss of time at work $1200
  • Insurance increases $4500
  • License reinstatement $125

A DUI could cost a person up to $12,000! The financial costs as well as the legal, emotional, psychological, and physical costs may not be worth getting behind the wheel!


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