How Much Does Drunk Driving Cost the Government?
When you think of the cost of drunk driving, you may be surprised to learn that it can be a very significant burden on your wallet. In fact, a recent report shows that drunk driving costs the United States more than $132 billion each year.
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The cost of drunk driving can be high for many reasons. It can cost you your insurance, money in court, lost wages and more.
Insurance Rates: The first cost of drinking and driving is the increased car insurance rates that you’ll pay. This will affect you even if you’ve never been involved in a DUI. In addition, if you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, you’ll have to pay more than $15,000 in fines, court fees, remedial education and relicensing costs.
Loss of Employment: If you’re caught driving under the influence, your employer will likely terminate you. This can be especially difficult if you’re working for the government or public office.
Medical Costs: The physical and mental injuries caused by drunk driving are among the highest in terms of overall cost. These can include hospitalization and surgeries, as well as permanent disability or death.
Often, the victims of a drunk driver are innocent people who did not set out to drive intoxicated on that particular day. They can include children, parents, grandparents or loved ones who are killed or injured in a car crash due to the actions of an impaired driver.
Law Enforcement, jails and prisons: Drunk driving is a crime that requires a large amount of law enforcement resources to deal with. It also takes time to deal with the judicial and administrative issues that can arise from such an incident.
These costs can take up a considerable amount of taxpayer dollars and could have been spent on other community development projects.
Remedial Driving Education: In most states, a DUI offender is required to complete a program to get their driver’s license back. This can be very expensive, and it usually includes a professional assessment of the offender and counselling services that are provided to them in order to understand their personal situation that led to their DUI offense.
SR-22 Car Insurance: If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence, your insurance company will require that you carry an SR-22 certificate for three years. This is an important document because it will show your car insurance company that you have met the minimum state requirements for your insurance policy.
Other Fees: Depending on the state you live in, there are additional fees for your conviction that can add to your overall financial burden. Some states charge for towing your vehicle, impounding it or storing it until you can pay the fees and obtain a new license.
Legal Fees: The cost of a lawyer can be quite high, and this is a large part of the cost of a DUI case. These fees can range from $1,000 to $3,000 for a simple, first-time offense.