DUI, or Driving under the influence, is not illegal per se, however, it’s not recommended in any way. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot possibly end well. Even if you don’t end up in an accident and everyone goes unscathed – if you get pulled over and deemed unable to drive, things are about to get really ugly for you. There are all kinds of consequences at play here – from having a slumber party at the local jail and your driver’s license getting suspended to losing thousands upon thousands of dollars in various fines and hidden costs. Today, we’re going to talk about those hidden costs which you may not know about, how they can change your life for the worse and ultimately how you can avoid them. Let’s get started.
1. Fines & Court And Attorney Fees
The first and one of the major costs of DUI is not exactly a hidden one, but the amount might surprise you. If you manage to avoid jail time, community service, licence suspension and all of the usual punishments – you probably had the best lawyer in the world. However, you’re not going to get out of paying fines, court costs and eventually the attorney’s fee. Now, costs can vary significantly, depending on the state, how intoxicated you were, whether you had to post bail or not and more. On average, all of this is going to cost around $5000. You could end up paying less, but you could also end up paying upwards of the $10,000.
2. Towing And Impound Fee
Considering the fact that you’re unable to drive, being arrested for drunk driving and all that, your vehicle is getting towed and impounded. As we all know, this fee is everything but insignificant. You could end up paying between $500 and $1000 to get your car back.
3. Education Program Costs
According to Dmvedu.org, what usually happens after a DUI conviction is that the convicted party has to go through some sort of drug or alcohol education program. If you’re lucky, you might end up with an 8-hour online class, but that’s highly unlikely. However, ending up in group counselling or months of classes doesn’t happen that often, as well. In most cases, you’ll end up with 30 to 60 hours of online classes if this was your first offence. Once again, your bank account will feel it since this could cost you $700 or more.
4. Reinstatement Fee
Now, once you lose your driver’s licence – you don’t just get it back, you have to pay a reinstatement fee which will set you back about $500 in most cases.
5. Insurance Costs
Now, these are the ones you should really be worried about. After a DUI conviction, in the eyes of the insurance company, you’re a high-risk driver, which means, your premium costs are about to skyrocket. Now, this could vary, but in most cases, you would see an annual increase from a $1000 to even $3000 in your premiums. Now, keep in mind that this is not a one-year thing. Chances are you’ll be considered high-risk for at least 5 years. You do the math on that one.
This breath analysing device is going to be in your car for a year after you’ve been convicted of a DUI. Once you factor in all the costs like installation, rental fees, monitoring and so on, you’re looking at another $1500 out of your bank account.
7. Income Or Job Loss
If you’re lucky and you don’t end up fired you’re looking at least one month of ‘unpaid vacation’. If we take an average American salary, for example, that means you’re looking to lose another $4000 for not being able to work. If you lose your job on the other hand – only you know how much that will cost you.
Now, spending money on lawyercarl is something that you’re aware of and you’re paying for a good service – the one you actually need, so that’s okay. However, if we do the quick math, in the best case scenario – ‘hidden’ costs will set you back at least $10,000. On average, we’re looking at $20,000 to $25,000 and if you’re really unlucky, well, let’s not go there. It could ruin your life, let’s keep it at that. Keep in mind, that’s a first offence we’re talking about. Repeated offenders can and will lose a lot more than that.
Now, how can you avoid them?
8. Hire A Good Lawyer
A good lawyer can get your case dismissed. This is by far the best thing you can hope for in case you’re arrested for DUI. Not only will it benefit your financial situation, but it’ll affect the other aspects of your life as well. Not serving jail time, avoiding training and counselling, not paying high-risk insurance rates – this could save you a lot of money and emotional trauma. Even a night in county jail could leave some scars.
9. Keep Of The Road
This is the best advice anyone could give you. Want to save money and not end up handcuffed in the back of the police car? Don’t drink and drive. It’s as simple as that. You may feel like you’re more than capable of operating a vehicle and even if that’s true – don’t do it. You might injure yourself or the others. If you get pulled over and your BAC is over 0.08 an officer has a right to arrest you. You could be at 0.09 and feel absolutely sober – you could still end up arrested.
So, if you’ve had a few drinks – call a cab, phone a friend, order an Uber or just walk home. There are so many things you could do instead of sitting behind the wheel. Everyone’s unreasonable when they’re under the influence, we get that. However, try and reason with yourself and listen to others if they tell you not to drive.
If none of this matters to you because you just have more money than you could possibly spend and you don’t care about the costs – think about the risks. Over 10,000 people die annually in accident caused by drunk drivers. Over 300,000 are injured in some way. Don’t be a part of that statistic, don’t drive under the influence.