DUI convictions are no laughing matter. Not only can you lose your driver’s license, but you can also be looking at jail time, lawsuits, and some hefty fines. While awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence have increased over the years, the number DUI convictions have largely remained the same. Even in cities with Uber or other ride-sharing services, the number of DUI arrest have not gone down. But maybe there is one thing about DUIs which will keep you sober – the impact on your finances. With that in mind, here is a rundown of the four most expensive states for DUI convictions.
First, a Public Service Announcement
The reality is that no one ‘knows their limit’. While you might feel fine after one or two drinks, the reality is that your reaction time might be significantly impaired – or it might not be. It doesn’t matter if you are an NFL linebacker or an Olympic gymnast, the impacts of alcohol on your body depends on several factors. Sure, one of these is body weight, but other variables include health, sleep, and drinking on a full stomach to name a few.
As you can see it is nearly impossible for any of us to be a human breathalyzer. As such, it pays to drink in moderation, or better yet, not drink at all when you have to drive. Failure to do so could turn not only ruin your night, it could also ruin your life.
Now let’s look at the most expensive states.
This sun-drenched state has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. In fact, first-time offenders are forced to have their cars fitted with an ignition interlock. This is a device which will not let them start their cars unless they blow under a .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
If having to blow into a tube every time you wanted to start your car was not bad enough. There are also significant fines if an offender is caught attempting to drive under the influence for the second. These fines start at $1,250 as well as jail time, community service, and mandatory suspension of one’s license – ouch.
Driving under the influence in the Sunshine State is very expensive. Not only do you have to deal with mandatory jail time and license suspension, but penalties start at $500 and this does not include other court fees.
To make matters worse, Florida also compels offenders to outfit their vehicles with an ignition interlock. By the way, you will need to pay for this as well. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) these devices costs between $70 to $150 to install.
Get busted for DUI in Tennessee and you are looking at automatic jail time. Sure, it’s only two days. But do you want sleep overnight in the slammer? Therefore, most people seek DUI help in Nashville as getting caught is an expensive proposition.
However, that help does not come without a cost, especially if you are trying like heck to stay out of the county jail. As such, the best bet in Tennessee, well anywhere, is if you drink don’t drive. This will save you a lot of time and money.
- South Carolina
This is another state with mandatory jail time, even if it is your first offense. Not only do you have to spend some time in jail, but if your BAC is twice the limit your stay will be extended to 48-months.
That could literally kill your finances as you would have to quit your job, sell your house, and forget your credit cards. Heck, you’ll be lucky to have a bank account by the time you are released. By the way, don’t forget the fines and the license suspension.
Even if you don’t live in one of these states, you can see that it does not pay to drink and drive. Just about every state in the country has a minimum fine and the utilization of ignition interlocks are becoming increasingly more common. Then there are the fines, potential jail time, community service, and legal fees, not to mention the time off from work to appear in court. Be smart with your time and your money – call a taxi.