Costs of Drunk Driving in Illinois Are High
As a DUI lawyer in DuPage County, everyone knows a DUI is expensive. But did you know there are 3 little known costs for being charged with Drunk Driving?
Imagine yourself getting behind the wheel after a few cocktails at a holiday party. Seriously, 80% of casual drinkers have probably done it. But, what if you were actually pulled over? That decision’s effect on your budget’s bottom line may cause you to think twice forever.
In 2017 alone, 27,046 people were arrested for a DUI or driving under the influence. Those folks incurred thousands of dollars in DUI-related costs such as bail, attorney’s fees, court costs and fines. I personally defend clients everyday from drunk driving charges in Cook, Kane & DuPage County and can see how a pending charge will negatively affect their lives.
But arrest-related expenses aren’t the only costs that DUI offenders face. Below are three less obvious costs associated with driving drunk.
1) Court-Mandated Programs
A drunk driving offender’s sentence doesn’t end in the courtroom. Many states, including Illinois, require DUI offenders to complete alcohol education programs. These courses can cost several hundred dollars to register and eat up hours of offenders’ schedules. Some judges also order DUI offenders to attend victim impact panels sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); costs to attend the one-time class vary but reliably add another few bills to the total. Finally, some probation offices collect supervision fees to offset the costs of drug and alcohol screening.
2) Paying Restitution
Drunk drivers who cause others to incur out-of-pocket expenses (such as insurance deductibles, property repair, or medical expenses) are often court-ordered to repay the victim restitution. In some drunk driving cases, the DUI offenders are held accountable for reimbursing local law enforcement and other government agencies for their time spent responding to drunk drivers. Unlike a late credit card bill or rent payment, failure to pay these expenses can actually send you to jail. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in DuPage County contact an experienced drunk driving attorney, such as Mark Sutter with the Sutter Law Group.
3) Transportation Fees
DUI offenders face a high likelihood of transportation expenses as a result of losing their privilege to drive; fees for uber, riding the bus, or hopping on the train vary depending on where you live or work. The costs don’t end once you’re able to drive again; Illinois requires drunk drivers to install an ignition interlock on their vehicles upon regaining their licenses. Installation and set-up can cost a few hundred dollars, and any violation can trigger new criminal charges. Furthermore, if you work in the transportation industry or have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), a DUI conviction can also cost you your livelihood.
Bottom line, if you’re out having a good time, don’t forget to have a designated driver by your side or the uber app installed on your phone. If you can afford the drinks, you can afford the ride home. It will keep your life savings in the bank – and save lives on the road.
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