Getting in trouble with the law for drinking and driving is an easily avoidable offense which carries exceptionally stiff penalties. The decision to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated is essentially a choice to value convenience over the law and life itself.
On top of the potential for loss of life due to drunk driving, there is a high likelihood of a major loss of income and/or increased expenses on the part of the offender. Here are the most likely ways a DUI or DWI arrest and conviction will cost a person:
Jail Time Equals Job Loss
Many misdemeanors can land you in jail. DUI and DWI charges are often counted as misdemeanors. That means that you risk the chance of going to jail among other consequences. Just a few days in jail can cause you to lose the job that you currently have, and that can cause you to spiral into unemployment and issues getting another job because of your problems with the law. That experience can wipe out any savings that you had and leave you broke.
Heavy Fines and/or Surcharges
DUI and DWI offenses, as well as many other offenses, have fines attached to them. You’ll have to pay those even if you spend time in jail. Certain motor vehicle crimes also tack on surcharges. Let’s not forget about court costs. The whole thing can get extremely ugly for you really fast in terms of money. It can take you all the way to the bank.
Costs for Classes or Devices
Some judges require offenders of certain crimes to use special devices or take certain courses before they can get their vehicles back. For example, you may have to pay for Low Cost Interlock to install an in-car breathalyzer if you are a driving under the influence offender. You may also have to attend a safe driving course or go to rehabilitation for treatment. The courts could make you pay for that just because they have the authority to do so.
Hiring a lawyer for a DUI or DWI case can be astronomical under certain circumstances and extremely inconvenient in others. Generally, finding legal advice is expensive. You may even have to pay a fee just to get an initial consultation, as not all of them are free. The actual representation can cost you thousands of dollars.
Attorney representation is a must if you’re being accused of doing something wrong, however. You can’t afford not to hire an attorney because you may suffer some extreme lose if you don’t. You need someone by your side to defend you. You need someone to question the organization that charged you with something. You need a person to persuade the judge or jury to give you a lenient punishment if the verdict is guilty. There are a number of things that a good attorney can do for you, and you will not see that positive outcome if you try to do it alone.
If you are unfortunate enough to have a bail amount assigned to you, you may have to get help from a bail bond company just to get out of jail and get back to work. That may cause you to spend money that you don’t have even if you do get it back after you show up for the court date. When you get arrested and go through the booking process, the judge decides whether or not the policy will just let you go trust you to come back for court on your own, or you will have to pay something. Bail bond companies help when you can’t quite get it together to pay a full fine.
Simply put, drunk driving is never worth the risks. Not only are any number of lives at risk whenever a drunk driver is on the road, but the individual stands to lose out financially from such a poor choice. Think smart and never, ever, drive while intoxicated. It’s not worth it!