The Unthinkable Costs of Drinking and Driving: How a DUI Can Add Up to Staggering Costs and Consequences

As we begin to head into the holiday season, it is important to revisit an old problem: drinking and driving.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2009 there were over 10,000 alcohol related deaths. In 2009, an average of one alcohol related driving death occurred every 48 minutes.

Police arrested more than 1.4 million people, in 2009 for drinking and driving violations.  The consequences of this behavior can have staggering effects on multiple families.  If you need additional reasons, consider the fact that a DUI arrest can lead to devastating emotional and financial consequences that can ruin a family.  For example:

  1. Notoriety: Your name and offense will appear in the police blotter of your local newspaper. Some locations even post your arrest photograph online. Cost: Priceless.
  2. Towing: After being arrested, your vehicle may be impounded or towed. Cost: Hundreds of Dollars.
  3. Bail: Depending on your charges, you may have to contact a bail bondsman to be released from custody. Cost: Hundreds of Dollars.
  4. Legal Fees: You may choose to hire a lawyer depending upon the circumstances of your case. Cost: Thousands of Dollars.
  5. Court Costs and Related Fees: Depending upon the circumstances of your case, there may be fees and costs associated with your arrest. Cost: Hundreds of Dollars.
  6. Insurance: Some insurance companies may drop your coverage with their company while others may greatly increase your premiums for multiple years. Cost:  Multiple Thousands of Dollars.
  7. Medical Costs: If you are involved in an accident and are injured, you may require a trip to the hospital in an ambulance as well as follow up treatment. You may even be permanently injured as a result of your accident. Potential Loss: Life Altering Disabilities.
  8. Losing Your License: Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may lose your license for months to a year to multiple years. Cost: Multiple Thousands of Dollars.
  9. Losing Your Job: Depending upon the circumstances of your case, your job duties and responsibilities, especially as it relates to those requiring a commercial driver's license, may cause you to lose your job. Cost: Financial ruin and possible bankruptcy.
  10. Hurting or Killing Someone Else: If you injure or kill another person, you could be incarcerated for years. Additionally, the emotional and financial costs could be staggering and a judgment may be obtained against you in excess of your available insurance policy limits. Loss: Incomprehensible.

So, before you opt to have just one last drink before heading home, think about the potential, far-reaching, life altering consequences that could result from your actions.  Remember, every drunk driving accident is preventable.  Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!