The Cost of a DUI
The Impact of Alcohol Testing
Alcohol testing has been used by law enforcement for many years in order to validate whether someone has been drinking alcohol before or while driving. The breathalyser is the most well-known tool that is used for this purpose, and a DUI is issued to an offender when found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol. This can prove to be very pricey, not only in monetary value but with regards to the professional future and familial relationships of the offender as well.
A DUI can cost up to $20 000, this without taking any other serious consequences into account such as an injury or death due to the conviction. This can include bail, car towing or costs involved when the car is impounded, legal fees, court costs, DUI education programs, drug and alcohol assessment and counselling, licence reinstatement fees, higher insurance premiums, probation fees, and of course loss of income due to days taken off from work. The financial implications of a DUI are tremendous, as seen above. Due to the fact that driving privileges are taken away, public transport such as the subway, bus or a taxi cab will need to be taken. This can also have a negative effect on the convicted persons’ pocket. The person can even lose their job if their job description involves driving – this will mean the person cannot undertake another driving job for the next ten years. Not only this, when the drivers’ licence is reinstated, (which also comes with a fee as mentioned before) car insurance can easily inflate to double, triple or quadruple compared to before the DUI.
These however are only the financial ramifications. The social, professional and personal consequences are equally crippling. Without a drivers’ licence it is difficult to run simple errands or have ones’ freedom. By not being allowed to drive a car, especially if one is used to such freedom, impacts on the social life dramatically. Also, many employers, if not the majority, do background checks on potential employees. Because a DUI falls under the criminal misdemeanor sphere, this could impact heavily on ones’ chances of finding suitable, good employment. Colleges and universities, as well as financial aid applications do these checks as well, not to mention landlords who are seeking suitable tenants for rental – if one applies for an apartment or house to rent and has a DUI against your name chances are you will not be afforded a place to stay.
Current employment, if one is allowed to remain after the DUI, will definitely be affected as well. All the days missed from work due to court dates and alcohol counselling will not only result in less days’ work and thus less pay, but could also lead to a dismissal. If ones current boss and co-workers find out about ones’ DUI, professional relationships will also be at risk. Employers do not take criminal misdemeanors lightly, and this may affect the chances of obtaining a good reference from your current employer.
Ones’ personal relationships are also effected by a DUI. Though family and friends will show support and understanding, the stress and shame accompanied by a DUI can make you snappy and feel as though people are prying into your personal business which they are not doing. This could lead to tensions between familial relations and could lead to a loss of one or two friends in extreme cases, or merely temporary alienation in most cases.
The content of this article is provided by Connectica, LLC and has not been reviewed by a toxicology expert witness.