The Other Costs of Drinking and Driving
Most of us are aware that drinking and driving kills. In fact, an alcohol-related traffic fatality occurs every 30 minutes. However, the tragic side of drinking and driving, which most often includes the loss of loved ones, is not the focus of this article. Instead, we’ll point out some of the other, less discussed, yet still serious, consequences of drinking and driving.
Check out the video below in which a highway patrolman, former prosecutor, and insurance agent discuss some of these topics:
A Night in Jail
With a DUI arrest, you will more than likely end up in a group or shared cell. There’s a good chance that your fellow inmates are no strangers to jail and may enjoy terrorizing you. You, on the other hand, will not enjoy your stay. That’s why it’s called jail.
Your Car Will Be Towed
If you are pulled over for a DUI and arrested, your car will be towed. You will then have to pay a substantial fine to get your vehicle out of the impound lot. You’ll also have to pay the towing company for their services. At minimum, you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars.
Loss of License and Fine
Many states’ zero tolerance laws call for automatic suspension of a teen’s driver’s license when he or she is arrested for drinking and driving. A first-time offense may result in a 90-day suspension. Subsequent offenses can result in license revocation for up to a year.
Most judges will also hit you with a fine. The amount varies depending on the severity of the charge and whether this is your first offense.
Sky-rocketing Insurance Premiums
As far as an insurance company is considered, a DUI arrest is no different than a DUI conviction. If you don’t believe us, watch the video on this page and you can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.
So, what exactly does a DUI arrest do to your insurance premium? It will send it shooting through the roof. Your premium will likely double and possibly even triple. That’s assuming that you don’t lose your insurance altogether. If you’re a teen, you will also jeopardize the coverage for your entire family. If your family can’t afford the increased insurance rates, they may have to drop you from their coverage, which means you won’t be legally allowed to drive.
Once you are no longer covered on your parents’ insurance policy, you will find that a DUI arrest will haunt your insurance rates for years to come.
Enormous Legal Fees
According to a former prosecutor that we spoke with, a first-time offender can expect to pay upwards of $2500 in legal fees. Second and third offenses can be double or triple that amount. Couple hefty legal fees with the insurance hikes and you’re looking at many thousands of dollars (probably more than you can count on one hand) for getting caught drinking and driving.
DUI Conviction on Your Record
When applying for a job, you will be asked if you’ve ever been found guilty or pleaded guilty to a criminal offense. You will be forced to list a DUI conviction, which could adversely affect your ability to get the job.
Applications for bank loans as well as college admission applications may also ask if you’ve been convicted of a criminal offense, DUIs included.
The next time you’re thinking about getting behind the wheel after drinking, consider all the consequences of your actions.