Celebrate safely this December. More parties mean more alcohol and unfortunately that creates an uptick in DUI arrests, and traffic crashes and fatalities involving alcohol this time of year. On average, 40% of all traffic fatalities were linked to impaired driving, totaling 10,000 alcohol-related deaths annually. A drunk driver involved in a fatal accident usually faces serious charges that can bring years of prison time.
Most people who get behind the wheel don’t realize their own level of impairment is as high as it is. This is because alcohol effects our ability to make sound judgments. Studies show that most people are terrible at determining their own level of intoxication accurately. Just because you seem okay, doesn’t mean you are sober enough to drive. Remember, buzzed driving is impaired driving and can lead to a DUI arrest or worse.
While we all know DUI’s are costly, many people are surprised to learn just how many hidden costs are associated with a DUI arrest.
Beyond the cost of an attorney which can usually range anywhere from $2,500-$5,000 for a first time offense, there are other costs to consider such as:
- Mandatory Fine: $500-$1000
- Court Costs and Fees: $500-1000
- Ignition Interlock Device: $270 to install, $70 per month to maintain
- Substance Abuse Evaluation: $250
- Substance Abuse Classes: $50-$250
- Driver’s License Reinstatement Fees: $225
- Vehicle Impound: $200
- Increase in Insurance Premiums: $1500
These are just to name a few, bringing the average cost of a DUI anywhere from $5k-$30k depending upon the circumstances and severity. The Average cost of an Uber or Lyft? $2 per mile. You do the math! You literally cannot afford to get an DUI.
There is some evidence of a silver-lining. Thanks to groups like MADD and raising public awareness through campaigns like National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, public awareness of the dire consequences of drunk driving has increased, while alcohol-related crashes have steadily decreased. Teen drinking and driving is also on the decline.
However, the holiday season continues to be the most dangerous time to be out on the roads. Be smart! Arrive a live. Call and Uber or designate a sober driver. Let’s celebrate safely this December!
If you are arrested for DUI in Tampa Bay and need help, call our office today 813.322.2082.