Did you or someone you care about get found guilty of a DUI? Prepare yourself for some hefty financial consequences.
A DUI can cost even a first-time offender several thousand dollars. Include the resulting damage to reputation and relationships, and drunk driving penalties can add up to more financial harm than you may realize.
Legal Fees and Fines for DUI
A first-time offender who is convicted of a DUI with no injuries or property damage can likely expect to pay up to $24,000 — even in regions where a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor. If you cause damage or, worse yet, injuries, the financial consequences are even more devastating.
Specifically, the cost of DUI can include:
- Bail, towing, and impounding costs.
- Fines resulting from a conviction.
- Legal and DMV fees.
- Court-mandated rehabilitation or alcohol education.
- Transportation costs if you can no longer drive.
- Car modifications that prevent driving after drinking.
- Medical testing.
- Skyrocketing auto insurance.
If you caused an accident while driving under the influence, you’ll also be expected to pay for repairs, medical expenses, and even damages. Should you lose your own job as a result of a DUI conviction, you may find it extremely difficult to find work in the same field — a serious problem with long-lasting consequences.
Reducing DUI Costs
DUI kills one person roughly every hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is an offense that law enforcement takes extremely seriously, even in areas where a first offense is a misdemeanor.
Although hiring a competent attorney may help your legal standing, you can still expect to pay a hefty sum for your DUI. Finding affordable auto insurance may be nearly impossible, and you may wind up in the assigned risk pool — a consequence you will want to avoid.
When facing DUI charges, it’s important to consider whether or not you have a drinking problem. Before you brush it off, consider that denial is one of the most common signs of alcoholism.
Most people who drink too much just can’t seem to believe addiction could be a problem. Even when loved ones see signs and symptoms of alcoholism, the person struggling denies a problem exists.
You may be addicted to alcohol if:
- You continue to drink even though you have suffered consequences such as a DUI, relationship problems, money problems, and reputation problems.
- You spend increasingly more time planning drinking binges.
- You cannot seem to control how much you drink.
- You drink at odd times, such as in the morning, in the car, or at work.
- You spend more time with people who drink as much as you do.
- When you don’t drink, you suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, shakiness, insomnia, and nausea.
- You forget about or ignore important responsibilities because of drinking.
If these sound familiar, it’s time to get help. If you just got a DUI, you may be able to improve your circumstances by getting help from an alcohol rehab. Although rehab may cost you out-of-pocket, it is cheap when compared to mounting legal bills, lost wages, and other serious financial problems.
Contact 12 Keys to speak to a counselor today.