Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense no matter what state in the United States it occurs. The consequences of a conviction for this crime can absolutely devastate a person’s life and risking the well-being of other’s lives on the road. Not only are you risking serious danger into you AND other’s lives, you risk very serious financial consequences. Even for those who manage to avoid getting into an accident, getting caught driving under the influence can have extremely steep consequences on your wallet and dealing with the stigma for the rest of your life.
Thousands of DUI cases go through the U.S. court system on a daily basis. When convicted you will be subject to serious obligations to pay the state you were convicted in, on top of any legal attorney fee’s you may inquire. Drinking or being under the influence of drugs, while driving is so simply NOT worth it. Here are 6 Ways that a DUI can hurt you financially:
1. Jail Time
Jail time is one of the toughest consequences of getting a DUI charge in any state. Just a few days in jail can cause a person to lose his or her job. Jail time can be anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the offense and the number of past convictions. The consequences go up each time the person receives a conviction for the offense. Missed work is obviously a significant cause of loss of money.
2. High Fines
Fines are one of the other harsh consequences of a DUI conviction. The offender may have to pay a fine along with an administrative fee and a license renewal fee if he or she loses driving privileges.
3. Sky-High Insurance Rates
A person convicted of a first DUI offense could face raised insurance rates in excess of $10,000/year for 5 years or more. Therefore auto insurance can end up costing someone over $30,000 in rates over the course of just three years as a result of a driving under the influence conviction. Some car insurance companies could hold high cost of rate premiums for 5 years or more. Insurance companies frown upon people who receive DUI offenses. Offenders can receive license points each time they receive a DUI conviction. A DUI conviction can leave as many as six points on a driver’s license. Insurance companies will not cover a person who has more than 12 points on a license. Additionally, the insurance premiums are sky-high for DUI offenders because of the risk of a subsequent incident.
4. Loss of License
A convicted DUI offender may lose the right to operate his or her license on a first offense. Many states will remove driver’s privileges after a conviction. For example, the state of Florida may suspend someone’s driving privileges for up to six months. The state of Georgia may suspend a person’s driving privileges for up to one year. Indiana and Iowa may suspend someone’s license for up to 18 months’ time. Losing a license may mean losing a job, and paying extra for public transportation.
5. Attorney Fee’s
You can choose to be represented in court by your own personal attorney or choose a public defender, either way it’ll cost you. An attorney can assist a driver with clearing his or her name and trying to get the charges lowered or dropped. Private attorney’s do not come cheap for a simple DUI case, fee’s can run a person anywhere from $5,000-$20,000 in lawyer fee’s alone depending on different circumstances.
Even if the judge ends up convicting the accused person, an attorney can request a lenient sentence or alternative sentencing. Alternative sentencing may be something such as community service or weekend time. Contacting an attorney the moment an accusation comes in is extremely important.
6. Alcohol Rehabilitation & Classes
A convicted person may have to take alcohol education classes before the authorities will let that person get their license and drive a vehicle again. The goal is to ensure that the person has full knowledge of the illegal alcohol limits and the responsibilities that he or she has as a driver. The judge may order alcohol classes to ensure that a convicted person does not get into the same trouble again. These classes aren’t free either. Another big thing some judges may order a convicted person to go to an alcohol rehabilitation center. If a person has a clear problem with substance abuse, it is a dire need they get the proper treatment.
If you or a loved one has a problem with drugs or alcohol is known to frequently drive under the influence, please contact one of our treatment specialists today.
If the substance abuse problem is addressed before getting in trouble it can save a person a lot of trouble, not to mention the risk of losing lives on the road.
Please call us today.