Consequences of Drinking and Driving
January 31, 2019
If you are caught drinking and driving you will go to jail. Jail time is just oneof the risks of drinkingand driving. The reality is that there are many consequences to drinking and driving. Theseconsequences should be well known by now, as they follow an extensive period ofeducational efforts by law enforcement to heighten awareness of the impact ofdrinking and driving and the consequences of being caught.
Despite the dire consequences of drinking and driving, it still remains a huge sourceof preventable death. There are significant legal penalties that an individualconvicted of a driving while under the influence (DUI) offense will face. Theseinclude suspension of their license, revocation of their driving privileges, arequirement to take part in an ignition interlock device (IID) program, jailtime, fees, and much more.
Death and Injury
If you drink and drive, one of the consequences you might face is death. You may bekilled yourself, or you may end up killing someone else. You might also justend up injured, or you might injure someone else. Most people who aren’tfamiliar firsthand with the impact of DUI related injuries and death dismissthis consequence as a scare tactic used by law enforcement. The truth is farfrom this. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,drunk driving related fatalities totaled over 10,000 in 2016. This equals oneperson being killed in an alcohol-related accident every 50 minutes of everyday, throughout the year.
Although drunk driving related fatalities have been significantly reduced sinceenforcement efforts began in earnest in the 1980s, they still remain high. Overthe past decade, an average of 10,000 people have died every year as a resultof drunk driving. This demonstrates that 2016 wasn’t an aberration, but ratherfell within the norm. Law enforcement and interested outside organizations havemade a large effort to increase efforts to educate the public about the risksof drinking and driving over the past few decades, which has accounted forsteadily decreasing numbers of fatalities. However, despite more severepenalties for drunk driving, it continues to remain a problem that results in aconsistently high number of preventable fatalities every year.
Legal Troubles and Fines
Let’s say you drink and drive and don’t end up killing yourself or someone else. Theconsequences of drinking and driving are still substantial. You’ll face somesevere legal and monetary penalties as a result of your decision to drink anddrive. The most common outcomes of a DUI arrest include jail time, suspensionor revocation of your driver’s license, and fines. The fines associated withdrinking and driving can be immense. First-time offenders can expect a DUI tocost upwards of $10,000 once all legal fees and fines have been accounted for.Your car insurance rates will also go up substantially, representing an ongoingcost that will continue to affect you for long after your normal drivingprivileges have been restored.
Ignition Interlock Devices
An increasingly common consequence of drinking and driving is a requirement totake part in an ignition interlock device program. IID programs are used toallow individuals convicted of a DUI offense to continue operating their motorvehicle provided it is equipped with an IID. An IID is a device that isintegrated into a vehicle’s ignition and requires a breath sample to besubmitted and passed before the car will start. Essentially, an IID is abreathalyzer attached to your car. IID programs are not only inconvenient butcan also be expensive. A large part of the expense associated with IID programsdepends on the provider themselves, but all expenses associated with an IID unnecessary if you avoid a drunk driving conviction in the first place.
The best advice we can give you is to avoid drinking and driving entirely. The onlyresponsible way to approach drinking and driving is to avoid driving if youhave been drinking. The consequences of drinking and driving are harsh. Thebest outcome you can expect is jail time and substantial fines and fees. Theworst outcome is death, which is an all too common occurrence. Rather thanbecoming one of the 10,000 plus fatalities associated with drinking and drivingannually, practice safe driving and don’t get behind the wheel if you have beendrinking. Use a ride-sharing service if you have been drinking and need to gethome, or designate a sober driver at the beginning of the night.