DUI could cost offenders tens of thousands of dollars
The final cost of a DUI depends on many factors, but it can cost a person tens of thousands of dollars, their job, and it's an offense that stays on an offender’s record forever.
As parties end, officers will be patrolling the streets and making sure everyone gets home safely.
Jerry Summers is a defense attorney and represents clients who have been charged with driving under the influence. He said the cost of a DUI can go much further than the court and lawyer fees and the hit you take on your insurance.
“You're going to have to pay a bondsman. If your vehicles towed, you're going to have to pay a towing fee,” Summers explained. “If you go to sessions court and you get convicted, you're talking about roughly $1,255 for a first offense; you have to do 48 hours in jail."
According to the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles, the average cost for a person's first DUI offense adds up to nearly $23,000. At that cost, they say you could go 11,370 miles in a taxi - that's almost halfway around the world.
Along with the hefty price tag, a DUI stays on a person's record, which can affect employment, costing a person even more money.
Summers said he doesn't see an increase in the amount of DUI cases at his firm over the New Year holiday but wants to remind everyone to make sure they know their rights but also follow the law.
Have a designated driver or use a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft.
“That's the main thing, don't drink and drive,” Summers urged. “That may cost me money in fees, but I'm not in it for just that."
If you need a ride in Chattanooga, Focus Treatment Center is offering free rides to people.
Just call 423-308-2560 and provide your name, location and home address. Your ride will be covered within 30 miles of Chattanooga. These are for rides home only. They will not take you to another bar or party.