Most people know that drunk driving is a crime, but far too many people fail to consider the true cost of drunk driving until it is too late. When you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you put everyone on the road at risk, and drunk driving kills someone every 50 minutes.
It’s hard to put a cost on someone’s life or account for injuries, but drunk driving means so much more than a ticket. If you cause an accident after drinking, you could not only face fines and jail time but also be liable for any harm you cause. You could end up paying someone else’s medical bills, missed wages, and even funeral and burial costs.
If you get hurt, you may have high medical costs as well. Sometimes, drunk drivers do not walk away from their own accidents and have to manage a disability for the rest of their lives.
Simply put, drunk driving is not worth it.
Your first DUI is a misdemeanor violation that carries up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 fines, and license suspension for 90 to 180 days. If you get caught driving under the influence more than once, fines go up to $2,000, and you will have to spend at least 10 days in jail. Additionally, your license will be suspended for 1 year and you will have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Three or more offenses and high blood alcohol content (BAC) merit even harsher penalties, including felony charges and at least 30 days in jail.
Getting pulled over should be a wake-up call. Although these consequences are unpleasant, they are still better than serious injuries or the guilt you would carry if you harmed someone else. Also, when DUIs end in accidents, even harsher criminal penalties apply.
If you cause any kind of accident while driving under the influence, you will have to pay for the related damages. Even property damage can be extremely expensive and make it difficult, if not impossible, to get car insurance in the future.
You and your insurance company will also be responsible for all medical bills related to the accident, and you will have to compensate the victim for both economic and non-economic losses. Put another way, one car accident could put you into debt for your entire life.
How to Avoid Drunk Driving
Never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol. If you drink, make sure you have another way home. You can always choose a designated driver, call a friend, use a ridesharing app on your phone, hail a taxi, or even find a nearby hotel for the night.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you get behind the wheel with alcohol in your system and run into law enforcement, our DUI attorneys at May, Rammell & Wells can work hard to help you get another chance to never to do it again.
If you always drive sober and suffer an injury or loss because someone else chose to drive drunk, our personal injury lawyers can help you secure your future. With more than 70 years of combined experience, we understand that every case is different.
No matter what side of the drunk driving accident you are on, we want to help you make the cost something you can handle. No one should have to handle the aftermath of a drunk driving accident alone, and our firm is here for you.
If you need legal help, call us at (208) 623-8021 to get small firm attention with large firm results, or ger started by requesting your consultation online.