An arrest for drunk driving in Ohio is more than just a traffic ticket. In fact, you could easily end up spending time behind bars even for a first conviction. State and federal governments seem to be doing whatever they can to make a DUI charge as uncomfortable as possible, and with good reason. More than 28 people die in drunk driving accidents across the country every day. You probably agree that any efforts to stop this trend are helpful as long as they do not violate your rights.
One way in which a drunk driving conviction can disrupt your comfort level is by threatening to damage your financial stability. This is because the average first offense drunk driving conviction can end up costing you thousands of dollars, and that is not limited to your fine.
Adding it all up
Few people have $10,000 to $25,000 dollars lying around that they have not already earmarked for other important purposes. For those who do not have that kind of money to burn, a DUI conviction can result in debt and financial struggles that often lead to relationship troubles and other burdens. While your initial fine for a DUI charge may cost you $1,000 or less, you will likely face additional expenses you were not anticipating, including:
- Jail fees
- Court costs
- Probation and community service supervision fees
- The cost of any random drug or alcohol testing the court orders
- Alcohol assessment and treatment program or alcohol education course
- The installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock system in your vehicles, if the court orders it
- The cost of alternative transportation while your license is under suspension
- The cost of reinstating your driver's license at the end of your suspension
- The hike in your car insurance rates because of your conviction, sometimes as high as $10,000
You should also consider the risk that a DUI conviction will affect your job. For example, if you hold a professional license, work with children or drive for a living, a conviction may eliminate you from your employment eligibility or make it difficult for you to find work in your chosen field. More immediately, the time you must spend in jail, court, community service and other requirements may affect your attendance at work.
As you can see, you have many factors to consider when faced with charges for drunk driving. Handling this situation with the assistance of a skilled attorney may allow you to avoid some of the serious negative consequences related to these offenses.