Most people attend Christmas parties during the holiday season, and this is a great way to catch up with family and friends. However, it also provides each attendee with an increased risk of being arrested for a DUI. After all, the majority of these parties will involve alcohol, and it is surprisingly easy for people to exceed the legal limit.
For example, the average woman will become legally intoxicated after only two drinks. Therefore, you need to put protective measures in place such as a designated driver to help you avoid ending up with the exorbitant fees that are associated with a DUI conviction.
How Expensive is a DUI?
The total cost of a DUI is determined by your state's applicable fees and whether or not you have any previous offenses. For example, drivers in Michigan who are convicted of their first DUI will face a fine of up to $500, a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 for two years and several other penalties including a license suspension and the possibility of jail and community service.
Drivers in this state who receive a second DUI conviction will see their legal fine increased up to $1,000, and they will also have the same driver responsibility fee.
Some states take an even stricter approach that is based around the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of their arrest. In Florida, a driver who has a BAC below .15 will face a fine up to $1,000, but a BAC above .15 comes with a fine of up to $2,000. These drivers also face jail time, a license suspension, community service and an ignition interlock device after the first offense. Due to all of these variances, it is vital for every driver to take the time to familiarize themselves with their state's DUI laws and penalties.
The Hidden Costs of a DUI
Everyone realizes that there are legal fines associated with getting a DUI, but there are many people who are unaware of all of the other unexpected financial issues that can be caused by a DUI conviction.
For example, your insurance company will have the legal right in most cases to dramatically increase your premium or even drop you, and this can make it very difficult for you to pay for all of your monthly expenses.
Additionally, many employers have a clause that enables them to terminate or demote any employee who is convicted of a DUI. Even if your employer does not exercise this right, you could have difficulty finding different employment in the future. It is also important to note that many universities will deny enrollment to prospective students who have a DUI on their record.
However, if you are arrested for a DUI, you should contact an experienced attorney knowledgeable in DUI law, such as Evan Levow, to represent you in court. Keep in mind that your odds of being convicted will dramatically increase if you choose to represent yourself instead. Retaining an attorney is the best defense when faced with a DUI charge.
The most compelling reason to avoid drinking and driving during the holidays is that it could rob someone else of their life. If this happens, you are likely going to spend an extended period of time in jail.
Therefore, it is vital for you to avoid putting yourself in this situation, while choosing to be more responsible. Having a designated driver or making other arrangements to arrive home safely after attending your holiday cheer events is the wisest and healthiest choice for everyone. Stay safe!