Holiday DUI’s and Don’ts

canstockphoto1158483-201x300The holiday season is a time for family, friends, reflection and a new beginning.  Unfortunately, it’s also when more DUI checkpoints begin popping up and the cops start really cracking down on DUI offenders.

According to the State Justice Department, in 2012 61,852 DUI arrests were made in Florida alone. California and Texas were the only 2 states to have more reported DUI’s than Florida.  Unfortunately, that statistic isn’t even the worst of it.  The number of DUI related fatalities increased in the US from 9,865 in to 2011 to 10,322 in 2012.  This was the first increase in 6 years.

This year, don’t let yourself be another statistic.  Join the 14,000+ others who have already taken the pledge to not drink and drive.

A DUI can cost you a lot more than just a night in jail and a bruised ego.  Here are a few things to consider prior to having “just one more” before you hit the road:

  • DUI is one of the few infractions you cannot have removed from your record.  Your mug shot will always be accessible for public viewing.
  • Not only will your car insurance increase, your health insurance will increase as well because you’re now considered a liability to yourself.
  • Potential loss of credibility with your friends, family and even your job.
  • You can no longer volunteer with certain charitable organizations (ie. most children’s charities).
  • You have to pay for the installation of an Interlock device ($85), monthly maintenance fees ($85), and a removal fee ($50).  These are average prices based in Florida and will vary depending on which state you’re in.

Including court fees, bail, an attorney, DUI classes, Interlock, etc. the average cost of a DUI is $5,000 – $10,000.  When you consider a taxi from Tampa Bay Times Forum to St. Pete Beach (including tip) will cost you less than $100, isn’t it a better idea to just take the taxi in the first place?

There are plenty of ways to avoid putting yourself at risk, you just have to be willing to ask for help.

  • Always have a plan in place before taking that first drink or heading out for any holiday celebration.  Have cab fare set aside, a planned designated driver or a friend or relative on standby to drive you home.
  • Don’t want to leave your car in a bar parking lot over night?  Not a problem!   Check this list for local services in your area who will ensure you and your car arrive home safely.
If things don’t go as planned and you do get pulled over after drinking, contact me immediately for your free consultation.