With the holiday season come holiday parties. As with most social gatherings, alcohol is part of the festivities.
Most people partake in moderation, or think they do. Studies show the average person will have a blood alcohol level above the .08 legal limit by consuming just two beers or two mixed drinks in an hour. The body then takes approximately an hour to metabolize one ounce of alcohol, the equivalent of one beer or one mixed drink. The average person who drinks two beers or two mixed drinks in an hour has to wait an hour before he or she gets back under the .08 legal limit and is able to drive a vehicle.
Unfortunately, many people do not wait and find themselves facing a driving-under-the-influence, or DUI, charge. Those who have not gone through the process of a DUI charge probably do not know the actual costs associated with a DUI. The breakdown of fines and fees follows:
Costs of standard a DUI over .08 Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC:
- Fine and State Fees: $1,665.00
- Court Fees: $ 36.60
- Time Payment Fee: $ 40.00
- Mandatory 1 day in Jail: $ 224.00
- Alcohol Screening/Counseling Fees: $ 300.00
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock: $ 522.48 @ $87.08 per month/6 month minimum.
- Interlock Installation: $ 50.00
- Interlock Removal: $ 75.00
- 3 Years of Increased Insurance Costs: $ 9,288.00, estimate of three times the normal cost
- Total: $12,201.08
These costs drastically rise for a DUI with higher blood alcohol levels. Just the fine for a DUI over .15 BAC but less than .20 BAC is $2,915.00 with a mandatory 30 days in jail. The fine for a DUI over .20 BAC is $3,203.00 and 45 days in jail. Another non-tangible cost is the minimum 90-day driver’s license suspension.
Some drivers may think, “That’s no problem, I’ll just get a lawyer.” A cost-check for a lawyer in the Sierra Vista area is $3,500.00 to $5,000.00 retainer’s fee. Additional costs are added based on how much time the attorney has to spend on an individual case, and there is no guarantee of a “not guilty” verdict at the end of a trial.
Based on the numbers, it is more affordable to pay $5 to $10 for a taxi to go home than pay the cost associated with a DUI. People will also help keep themselves and the community safe.
The Southeastern Arizona DUI Task Force is scheduled to be out over the holidays, making DUI arrests.
Stop and Think before you Drink.