Some friends invited you to the local hang-out for a drink or two, either after work or over the weekend. Like many Port Orchard residents, you may live on a budget but know that you need to cut loose and spend some time with your friends. You only plan to spend a certain amount of money in order not to blow your budget.
After a while, however, it becomes apparent that you probably shouldn't drive home. Even so, you don't want to spend the extra money on a cab or Uber, so you decide that you can make it home on your own. Just hours later, you are wishing that you had splurged on that ride.
A DUI begins costing you money right away
Once an officer places you under arrest, the costs of a DUI begin to add up. Looking at some of the average costs associated with a drunk driving arrest across the country, consider the following amounts:
- Police may have your car towed from wherever the officer pulled you over. That could cost you anywhere from $100 to $1,200 on average.
- Police probably took you to the local jail, and you will have to make bail in order for authorities to release you. That could cost you between $100 and $2,500, depending on the circumstances.
- If the court finds you guilty of DUI, you could face fines from $150 to $1,800, even if this is your first offense.
- Other fines and fees assessed by the court could climb into the thousands of dollars as well.
- It may be a requirement for you to attend some sort of alcohol education or substance abuse treatment, which can range between $1,000 and $3,000.
- The court may order you to use an ignition interlock system on your vehicle. You pay for the installation and maintenance fees on the device for as long as it remains in your vehicle.
- If the court suspends your license, you will need to find alternate transportation, which is another expense.
- Your auto insurance company will more than likely raise your rates. The industry considers drivers with DUI convictions on their records as high risk.
As you can see, a conviction for drunk driving is costly. You may find it in your best interests to make use of legal resources in the area in order to help you avoid a conviction, and that will cost you money as well. However, considering the fact that a DUI will actually cost you more than just those expenses above, you may find it worth it.
If you drive for a living, want to apply for a scholarship or otherwise need a clean record for your employment, the last thing you want is a conviction based on a mistake. Don't let an error in judgment cost you any more than it absolutely has to.