The True Cost of a DUI
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Study Supports Lowering BAC Threshold to Save Lives
Roughly 10,000 Americans are killed in DUI collisions every year, more than three times the number killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, nearly one third of all traffic fatalities are caused by intoxicated drivers, and 40 percent of those killed in DUI collisions are individuals other than the DUI driver, as found in the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and reported by 89.3 KPCC. The study actually supports lowering the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent, which is the legal threshold in many other countries. A man weighing up to 160 pounds would reach that limit at two drinks, while a woman weighing up to 120 pounds would reach that limit in one drink, depending on the time frame that the drinks were consumed. The study also supports measures to increase alcohol sales tax and reduce the hours and days that bars and restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol. While these measures are being strictly opposed by the alcohol industry, researchers believe that the stakes are too great and the human life cost too much to ignore the problem. Similarly, the cost to you, as a driver who has recently been charged with a DUI, are great too as the law currently stands.
What is at Stake for You?
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) lists the following as the penalties for a first-time DUI. With every accumulative DUI, the penalties are increased significantly.
- $250 to $500 fine;
- 50 hours of community service;
- Up to one year of probation;
- Up to six months in jail, or if a minor was in the vehicle with you, up to nine months in prison;
- 180 license revocation; and
- 12 hours of DUI classes.
However, these are only part of the high costs that you may be paying for your DUI charge. BACtrack calculates the total expenses of a DUI as following:
- $150 to $2,500 on bail
- $100 to $1,200 on towing and impound costs for your vehicle;
- $4,500 to $10,000 in higher insurance premiums;
- $2,500 to $5,000 for an experienced defense attorney;
- $150 to $1,800 in court fines;
- $1,000 to $2,500 in alcohol treatment or education;
- $10 to $50 jail fee;
- $100 to $1,000 for alternative transportation
- $60 fee for community service supervision;
- $21 to $100 for license reinstatement;
- $500 to $1,500 for an ignition interlock device (if the court deems necessary);
- $90 fee for chemical testing;
- $600 to $1,200 for probation supervision;
- $250 for sentencing; and
- $330 for jail time.
These total costs, depending on where you live and how many DUIs you have had, among other factors, can add up to anywhere between $13,000 and $27,000.
A West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major moving traffic violation and crime in Florida, even if no one was injured and you were not involved in a crash. This is because driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous and the courts are eager to crack down on violators. For experienced criminal defense to avoid bankruptcy and losing your license for good, call the Skier Law Firm today at 561-820-1508.