How much will your first DUI cost you?

Wed, Nov 19, 2008

Legal Articles

by Alex Weidmann

This question depends on a few different factors. Let’s say you were pulled over right after leaving a bar after having a few too many beers. After you’re done paying lawyer fees, court costs, license fees, probation fees and raised insurance rates, you can expect to fork over about $10,000. Ten thousand dollars for one night of fun, hardly worth that extra beer. And you might also lose your job, have trouble finding new work and much more that can put you in a financial strain.

But what if you are less lucky, decide to drive drunk and you get into a car accident? Even worse, what if you kill somebody while you’re driving drunk? Can you put a price on another person’s life? Sadly yes. Every DUI death costs $3.6 million dollars. $1.1 million in monetary costs and $2.5 million in quality of life losses. Colorado lost $2 billion dollars in the year 2000 due to these costs.

On your first offense, you’re only paying the state between $500 and $1,500 dollars. Like I said before, the other 90% of your money will go to fines, fees, insurance increases, mandated alcohol classes, and attorney fees. You might think this is excessive and that you’ve learned your lesson, but every day an accident happens, and somebody is killed. And let’s be honest, some people understand money better than anything else, so losing ten grand might send a stiffer message to many people.

The bottom line is it’s not worth it. Have a drink or two at the bar, then finish your night of drinking somewhere safe, or make sure you have a designated driver. But if you risk it and get busted, just remember you could have used that $10,000 to buy a ton of alcohol. Stay safe, stay alive and keep your hard earned cash!

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