The high cost of a DUI

- The holidays are here which means parties. On your 'to do' list is maybe a hostess gift and a new outfit. But don't forget to add a ride because it's not worth a DUI.

There are so many ways to catch a ride these days.  But just in case you forget what a DUI will cost you, I'm here to remind you.

Those blue lights are not what you want to see at the end of a fun evening.  First, you put other people's lives in danger when you get behind the wheel after drinking. But the morning after you will be faced with a double whammy hangover: a headache from the drinks the night before and a headache from what's still ahead of you.

I reached out to both the state's Behavioral Health team and DUI lawyer Ray Guidice who give a look at the cost of DUI. This is for first offenses, not contested.  

First, there is bail. That is about $2,500. Towing - $175. Count on your insurance going up 25 percent, if it's not canceled. Then you have to get a lawyer and that can run, he says, from $3,000 - $4,500. A fine for the first offense could be as high as $1,000. That doesn't count other charges you may have gotten that night.
Oh, there's more.  Add in a license reinstatement fee which can be as high as $410. A few things are required by law like a $200 alcohol evaluation. DUI school $355. Mandatory, 12-month probation. You pay a $40-a-month fee for that.

Now calculate in that first 24 hours in jail. The cost of taking days off to go to court. Forty hours community service. You might even lose your job.

How many drinks are too many?  It's not an easy answer.  The legal limit is .08 percent.  A lot of factors are in play here like age, size, male or female. Is it a light beer or a high alcohol craft beer?  Have you eaten? So the rule of thumb is no more than two modest drinks.  

And here two more interesting notes. Many people today take prescription drugs and many of them should not be mixed with alcohol. Also, millennials take car services. They are less likely to drink and drive than the rest of us.  And our attorney says, if they are on a jury and you are charged with DUI, they don't give you a break. It's a different generation.

Download a car service app or get your favorite cab company's number in your phone now.

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