The next time you’re tempted to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, think about this: The total cost of a first-time DUI can run as high as $25,000, according to the American Addiction Centers.
That is serious money. And it doesn’t count the cost of any property damage or bodily harm that you and your insurance company will need to cover.
Cases of DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) are treated differently in each state, reports FindLaw. Some states have mandatory penalties — both administrative and criminal — for first-time offenders; other states allow judges wide discretion when imposing penalties.
Judges generally have discretionary power on setting fines, jail time, community service and other penalties.
OneDUI Insurance has an interactive map with a breakdown of average costs in each state.
Although there are regional differences in various penalties and fees associated with a DUI arrest, it is expensive everywhere. Here are some of the median costs associated with a DUI in the U.S., according to OneDUI Insurance:
Total cost of a first-time DUI: $7,772 to $10,172
Minimum fine: $400
Penalty assessment: $600
State restitution fund: $100
Alcohol abuse education fund: $50
Blood/breath testing fee: $37
Jail cite and release fee: $10
Driving alcohol school: $375
License reissue fee: $100
Attorney fee: $2,500
A DUI can also have a dramatic impact on your auto insurance rates. According to The Zebra, a DUI is likely to cause your insurance rate to zoom an average of 73.9% higher.
We all know that driving under the influence is dangerous, but sometimes we forget the real and irreversible consequences if things go wrong. If you kill or hurt someone, you face a lifetime of regret and shame.
If that isn’t enough to discourage you from driving while impaired, maybe the risk to your bank account will. As you enjoy your summer barbecues, graduation parties and weddings, be sure to help keep the roads safe and don’t risk the trauma to your finances.
What is your solution for getting home when you’re out somewhere and have been imbibing? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
Find cheaper car insurance in just minutes
Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.