DWI: Its Lasting Effects on Your Wallet and Driving Record

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

“In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes – one every 51 minutes,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. What does that mean? That means that way too many people are drinking and driving. Of course, many people know that this decision can lead to death, yet people are still doing it every day. Why? Because they think they are the exception to the rule. They think that they are fine to drive. They will be able to make it home.

Here’s the problem.

No one thinks they are going to get in a crash or get pulled over for drunk driving. If they did, they wouldn’t do it. Even if you do drink and drive and you are lucky enough to not get in a fatal accident, maybe the huge dent it will take on your wallet will be enough of a deterrent.

How much does a DWI cost?

It definitely costs more than a taxi ride home; that is a guarantee. The actual figure varies from state to state, and there are many variables to consider. The best estimate is in total a DWI will cost about $10,000. This is on a first offense in which no objects were hit and no people were injured.

$10,000 seems a bit high for a first offense!

What you might not realize is that the fines from the state are not the only thing you will be paying. You are also responsible for bail money, towing your car from the scene, legal fees, increased insurance premiums, and possibly even lost time from work. All of these amounts can vary based on your specific situation, but $10,000 is a good amount to plan on if you want to risk drinking and driving.

What’s more, it can stay on your record forever.

Yes, you read that right, FOREVER! Many states no longer have statutes that remove a DWI after a certain period of time. However, many employers and insurance companies will only review a 3-5 year history, so your DWI will not affect your rates or your ability to be hired forever (visit DefensiveDriving.com for information on how to reduce your insurance premium). But is it really worth it? Is having a few drinks before your drive home really worth $10,000, possible loss of a job, increased insurance premiums, and a driving record that will never be clean again? I’m guessing not.

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