A first time DUI conviction in California can cost up to $16,000
According to a calculation of the Automobile Club of Southern California for St. Patrick’s Day partying, a first-time DUI conviction can now cost up to $15,649 in California. In 2011, the expense was 29 percent lower. For teenagers, the penalties are higher. A first-time DUI conviction of an under-age-21 can cost up to $22,492.
Steven A. Bloch, the Auto Club’s Senior Researcher said, “It only takes one or two drinks to slow physical and mental skills that affect vision, steering, braking judgment and reaction time. Drivers should be aware that the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies regularly use sobriety checkpoints to look for drinking drivers during heavy drinking periods, such as St. Patrick’s Day”.
In a recent AAA report, it is found that only 10 percent of motorists admitted to driving when they thought their blood alcohol content level was more than the legal limit in the past year.
The estimate of Auto Club is developed by totaling up the penalties, legal costs, attorney fees, insurance costs, mandated state and local fines. Other expenses that drivers might face are not included in the calculations such as if they need to pay bail, car damage from the accident they caused, installation of an ignition interlock if required and if they lose work time for a criminal trial or to go to jail. The offender also faces sky high insurance costs after the offense.
Baloch said, “This is entirely preventable”.