Did you know that…?
Beyond lost lives and painful injuries, alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost federal and local governments and taxpayers approximately $51 billion each year. (Blincoe et al., 2002)
Of course, a single DUI won’t cost you anywhere near that much. But getting caught driving under the influence can be an expensive. Costs vary state by state, but you could spend about $4,000-$5,000 on fines, impound fees, a DUI treatment program, insurance increases and other things—and that’s before you hire a lawyer.
But even for first offenders, DUI laws and penalties are getting tougher every year.
And your failure or refusal to take a breathalyzer test has increased consequences. Nearly two-thirds of all states now allow arresting officers to confiscate your driver’s license on the spot!
Penalties for repeat offenders are also getting tougher. If you get a second or third DUI conviction and you will likely face:
Even hardship licenses for driving back and forth to work are hard to get these days. So if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having multiple DUI’s, severe consequences can be difficult or impossible to avoid even with a good lawyer. Most states now have Habitual Violator laws, which require felony convictions for three DUI convictions. Three-time losers can lose their driver’s license permanently and can even lose basic civil rights like the right to vote.
See what the laws and penalties are for DUI convictions in West Virginia
See how it will also affect you at WVU, see the Student Conduct Code
Once you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you will probably have to disclose that conviction on every future application you fill out. Most potential employers take DUI convictions seriously. A DUI conviction may also prevent you from joining the military or getting a government or civil service job.
If you’ve already got a DUI, now is the time to take advantage of every option within your reach to turn your life around. By recognizing that you have a problem and taking the initiative to get help, there is a chance you might even get your record erased.
Blincoe L, Seay A, Zaloshnja E, Miller T, Romano E, Luchter S, et al. “The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2000.” Washington (DC): Dept of Transportation (US), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2002. Available online
Hingson, R. et al. Magnitude of Alcohol-Related Mortality and Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Ages 18-24: Changes from 1998 to 2001. Annual Review of Public Health, 26, 259-79. Available online
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(2008). High BAC Laws. Washington, DC: National Center for Statistics and Analysis Report No.: DOT HS 810 883.Available Online