Drunk tank at SCV Station | LASD
The party is in full swing and you are having a good time. You have had a “couple of drinks” and are feeling pretty good. You decide to go to a friend’s house to pick them up so they too can enjoy some of the fun. On the way to your friend’s house, you didn’t realize your headlights were off, and you were weaving a little from side to side. You are stopped by a deputy sheriff and the process begins. It is determined you are not able to safely drive and were arrested. You then spend the night in a jail cell and most likely released in the morning after being given a court date.
Now is when you will start to realize the costs involved in a DUI arrest. In information obtained for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the process that evolves after a first time DUI arrest is lengthy.
* Immediate license suspension per the state’s Admin Per Se policy
* License suspension unrelated to Admin Per Se for at least 4 months
* Up to 6 months in jail
* Up to $1,000 in fines. Keep in mind additional penalty fines and legal fees will apply
* $125 fee for license reissue
* Installation of an ignition interlock device
* DUI program – The length varies depending on factors like your BAC at the time of arrest
* SR-22 filing
The additional penalty assessments imposed by the courts can add another $1,800 to $2,000 on top of the initial fine. If your car was towed, up to another $500. Enrollment in a DUI offender education class will cost you another $750. The “Victim’s Restitution Fund” will be around $500. If you elect to hire a lawyer, the average costs are going to be around $7,500. After a DUI arrest the question is not if your car insurance will increase, but by how much will it increase. The nationwide average is $1,500 increase per year above the normal rate you were paying. Many employers will not keep you employed if you now have an arrest on your record. If you lost your job, the loss of income would probably surpass the fees and fines.
If the fees and fines are the worst part, you would be considered lucky. The whole incident could have easily resulted in a collision that caused injury or even death to an innocent person. Just imagine the person waiting at home for their loved one to return from their outing, only to open the door and be told by someone they do not know, that their loved one will never return. This exact scenario is something that happens over and over again throughout the country every year.
Driving while drunk is a selfish act that affects your life, and many times the lives of others. It is a decision someone makes that is usually at the end of the night, after becoming impaired.
If you are going to drink away from your home, there are things you can do to prevent the DUI arrest, collisions, injuries and the loss of life. Designate a driver who is not going to consume alcohol. You can arrange to have a friend pick you up, or call a taxi cab. You can know your limits and stay within your limits. Before you start the night of drinking, give your keys to the designated driver.