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The True Cost of a DUI

What is Binge Drinking Resurgence – Binge drinking college students toast at a local bar.

You may have learned in school that the cost of a DUI will be around $10,000.

Many people believe this is told to scare them away from drinking and driving, but it is actually a lot more realistic than you might think.

Unfortunately, though, the true cost of a DUI is more than just money, it is that you might hurt yourself or take someone else’s life.

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What Happens When You Get a DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a huge mistake that can completely ruin your life.

Some of the things that will occur when you get a DUI include:

  • Being arrested
  • Crashing your car
  • Injuring yourself
  • Hurting someone else
  • Losing your license
  • Spending time in jail
  • Paying thousands of dollars in fines
  • Paying legal fees
  • Insurance rates go up hugely

Lucky for you, there is an easy way to prevent these negative consequences: not driving under the influence.

Although this can be hard if you suffer from alcoholism, it is truly not fair to you, nor anyone else on the road.

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DUI vs DWI

DUI stands for driving under the influence while DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Typically DUI is used in the case of alcohol-related incidents, while DWI is given to drug-related incidents.

DUI: Drunk Driving

In 2018 there were an estimated 1 million people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a huge amount of people. DUI’s will be given to anyone driving with more than a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. This level of alcohol in the blood changes for different people. For you, it might be three drinks, but for your smaller friend, it might mean only one and a half.

If you hold a commercial driver’s license then your blood alcohol level can only be 0.04%. If you are under 21, then you can be arrested even for having a 0.01% blood alcohol level. Additionally, if you have been drifting or showing signs of intoxication, even if you are below the legal limit, you can be arrested.

DWI: Drugged Driving

Drunk driving is not the only problem when it comes to alcoholic troubles, drugged driving is equally as dangerous. You can actually get a DWI or a DUI when driving under the influence of prescription drugs as well. There are over 430 drugs that can impair your driving.

Even though medical marijuana is legal in 23 states, and recreationally legal in 11, it can still impair your driving. Marijuana is difficult to measure in the system, and most states do not have a method to measure it as of yet.

Drugs such as cocaine and prescription drugs are equally as illegal to drive under the influence. If you are found under the influence of drugs while driving you will be judged on whether or not you seem impaired.

The True Cost of a DUI

The true cost of a DUI is more than money, it can be the loss of your job due to being arrested or even death. According to the CDC in 2016 alone, there were 10,497 people that died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Additionally, 17% of all traffic deaths of children under 14 were due to an alcohol-impaired driver.

How To Keep Intoxicated People Off The Road

It can be extremely difficult to convince someone not to drink and drive. Although the best strategy to stop this is to find a place for this person to sleep for the night, or try to obtain their keys before they drive, it is not always possible. Here are a few strategies to keep intoxicated people off the road:

  • Stay calm and try to speak with them kindly instead of confrontational.
  • Get other friends to keep you to try and give them advice not to drive.
  • Explain you do not want them to drive because you care about them and do not want them to get hurt or in trouble with the law.
  • Suggest alternatives such as a taxi, public transport, or a ride from a sober individual.
  • Ask them to sleep at your place for the night.
  • Call the police if they are belligerent. It is better to have them arrested for a drunk in public than a DUI or to kill someone.

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Differences in The Cost of a DUI

DUI convictions do not just involve a suspended license, but as a first-time offender, you have the option to go to jail for up to six months or pay a five anywhere from $500-$3000.

If you get a second DUI within five years, then you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail, and have a fine anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. As a third-time offender you may be required to go to jail for an entire year, and have a much greater chance of actually serving that sentence. You will also receive a three-year license suspension and pay a fine of up to $10,000. Your fourth DUI is a felony and you can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

Cost of a DUI if You Have a Mental Illness

When you have a mental illness, whether that is depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or any other form, getting a DUI will most likely make your illness a lot worse. Consider the guilt you will feel if you injure or kill someone? This will raise levels of anxiety and depression in anyone, let alone someone who suffers from a sustained mental illness diagnosis.

What Getting a DUI Means For You

If you have received a DUI then you most likely will be facing thousands of dollars in fines, have damaged relationships with those you love, possibly hurt someone, and also may be facing jail sentence time.

What you might need to realize is that you have a problem with alcoholism which means you need to go to alcohol rehab. If this is the case for you, or if you are often tempted to drink and drive, it is time to consider treatment for alcoholism.

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Treatment Cost of a DUI

When considering addiction treatment, it may seem quite expensive to go to rehab.

This is actually a much less expensive option in the long run if you compare the cost of a DUI.

Additionally, you will be preventing the pain you suffer by getting a DUI and will be instilling healthy life habits instead of negative consequences.

At Resurgence Behavioral Health we offer many different options for treatment, as well as insurance verification to allow you to understand what your out of pocket costs might be.

Do not suffer the cost of a DUI, get help before your addiction to alcohol becomes a non-reversible problem.

Contact us today to learn more.

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