The costs of drunk driving reach far beyond the financial toll of a DUI or a lawsuit. Both the person who committed the act and everyone affected by it, directly or indirectly, pay a high price that has a lasting impact. In every case of driving drunk when someone is injured or killed, everyone is left asking the same question: Why did this have to happen?
Drunk driving rarely starts with an isolated case of poor judgment. Many people arrested for DUIs have a history of alcohol abuse, including a few rounds of rehab at an addiction treatment center. Nothing seems to stop their uncontrollable behavior and appetite for drinking. Only after they have hit bottom or someone else’s life is ruined, they finally decide to enter a substance abuse treatment program.
What Are the Costs of Drunk Driving?
Fatality or Injury
The worst possible scenario that could occur when drunk driving is that you kill or hurt yourself or someone else. The penalties for killing another person in a DUI-related accident (also known as vehicular manslaughter) may include an extended prison sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, or a lifetime license revocation. Also, you face the realization that you have harmed someone else because of an alcohol addiction that you could have ended long before the accident.
Getting charged with drunk driving can put a significant financial toll on your life. Legal penalties for a first-time sentence may include:
- Court costs
- Attorney’s fees
- Increase in auto insurance
- Alcohol education and treatment
- Towing and impound fees
- DMV reinstatement fees
Depending on your circumstance, you may also be subject to a mandatory alcohol addiction treatment program. A judge may sentence you to complete a thirty, sixty, or ninety-day rehab program, which can also increase your costs considerably.
Shame on the Home
Alcohol abuse rarely affects only the addicted person. It often affects the entire family and brings shame to the home. Parents, spouses, or children must face their peers, knowing that their loved one is addicted to alcohol or has been caught drunk driving. Conflict can arise in the family, as your loved ones stop talking to you or spending time with you. They may become angry and hurt as you continue your addiction regardless of the consequences.
Personal and Professional Reputation
Drunk driving cases are often made public. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your name may end up in the newspaper and your mugshot online. People in the community will hear about your arrest. Your reputation will be tarnished. Consequently, you may not be able to get a job, a loan, or a place to stay because of your DUI. It will take you an average of three to five years to clear your record and rebuild your reputation. In some cases, it may take even longer.
Some employers have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drunk driving or DUI charges. If you are arrested for driving drunk, you may lose your job. This can be difficult for you and your family, as it may be difficult to get another job that supports the home. The burden may fall on your spouse to support the family until you can find a job. This can put a strain on your marriage, your children, and your finances.
Get Help for Alcohol Abuse Now at Blueprint Recovery Center
Are you struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction? If so, contact Blueprint Recovery Center by calling 833.654.1004 or completing our secure online form. Let our treatment professionals help you overcome your addiction before you suffer the consequences of drunk driving. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment therapies for all types of addictions and mental health issues. Let us help you start on the road to recovery today.