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Financial Implications of a DUI

Statistics reveal that incidents caused by driving under the influence impose a massive $51.1 billion financial cost. Many times the offender doesn’t even realize the extent of the financial implications caused by his actions… upon himself and the public.

Costs Defined

DUI is not smartA DUI can lead to a variety of costs including attorney fees, court fees, impounding or DUI education programs. Seeking advice from a seasoned lawyer will prepare an offender to anticipate the following:

  1. Court fees – When an offender gets caught for DUI, he will be fined by the court. This fine varies from one state to another with Texas charging the highest court fees at $2,000 for first timers.
  2. Alternative transportation – One of the things that an offender loses on being accused of alcohol-induced driving is his license. Across the 50 states of the U.S., a DUI leads to confiscation of driver’s license for a period determined by the court. Until the original license is returned, which demands a payment of a minimum reinstatement fee of $250, the offender has to use an alternate mode of transportation which eventually means increased transportation costs. The reinstatement fee differs from state to state.
  3. Attorney fees – Paying the attorney his / her lawyer fees, to address your case would amount to the tune of $2,000 to $2,500.
  4. State order – In some states, a DUI offense can attract a severe order to install a car ignition interlock system in the car(s). This device, which is connected to the car’s ignition, monitors the driver’s alcohol content in the blood, at frequent intervals. The moment it detects alcohol, the ignition automatically is turned off and sounds off an alarm to the nearest police officer on patrol. The cost of this device, which is $200 for installation and $80 for monthly maintenance, has to be borne by the offender.
  5. Impounding – The most dreaded cost associated with alcohol-induced incidents, is towing and impounding. This cost is based on the distance the vehicle has been towed and the duration of impounding, both of which vary between states. For example, impounding costs in California starts from $190 and Florida authorizes a 10-day impound.
  6. Criminal record and loss of job – An individual found guilty of a DUI goes straight into criminal records, which poses its own set of complications on his life. Jim Forslund is a lawyer who defends DUI cases in Denver notes that “among my clients, potential job loss tends to be among the prime ramifications, which often goes unaccounted for”.
  7. Other costs – If the above costs were not enough to discipline DUI offenders, here’s another one. Offenders continue to face the burden of recurring costs such as:
    1. DUI education – Almost all the states recommend DUI classes, the cost of which varies from state to state. To give you a ballpark range, registration, and the cost of class could extend from $1,000 to $2,500.
    2. Mounting insurance – An offender’s worst fear comes in the form of his vehicle insurance bill which goes up by $5,000 to $10,000 within 5 years of the incident.

In all, a DUI offense results in staggering financial costs that vary from situation to situation and state to state. If you get yourself in a DUI situation, consult an expert for guidance but better yet… Don’t Drink and Drive. Alcohol is an expensive habit why not consider giving it up altogether?

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NOTE: We do not condone drinking and driving under any conditions. We have not read the books listed above and do not endorse their content.

Image by 911 Bail Bonds Las Vegas, on Flickr