Updated: May 26, 2023

5 Reasons Why a DUI Can Ruin You Financially

The cost of a DUI is more than most people comprehend. In addition to paying fines and fees, there are many ways your life is impacted by a DUI.
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Driving under influence

Driving under the influence can not only deplete your bank balance and ruin your credibility but cause a great deal of unnecessary stress in your life and the lives of others.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself with friends and family and going out for fun and drinks. But before you head out, make sure you agree that everyone will practice responsible drinking and driving. You may want to consider naming someone the designated driver for the evening, or simply catching a cab home.

If you don't think you need to plan ahead for an evening of celebration then you are definitely going to want to read further and learn how a DUI can ruin your life. One single mistake can have repercussions for years to come.

1. Cost

Convictions for driving under the influence are notorious for costing an extraordinarily large amount of money. Esurance has compiled data to show how much it approximately costs for a first DUI, and they estimate the total is around $9,000 for a first offense. The fees include the fine for the conviction, court costs, towing, treatment fees, and a few other costs associated with being caught driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

A DUI conviction also results in a suspended license. So beyond paying fees associated directly with a DUI, there are still other costs to think about. Commuting to work is going to be tougher when you cannot drive, and you may have to pay for public transportation, or occasionally take a taxi to reach your destination.

Once you can start driving again, you are then going to have to worry about higher insurance costs. Insurance for someone with a DUI on their record is double and sometimes triple the average rate. Expect to pay an outrageous amount for car insurance for at least a few years after you receive a DUI.

2. Credibility

A DUI may count as a felony in extreme cases. This means whenever you fill out paperwork for a new job, or any other official documents, you are going to have to be honest and report the felony on your record if you are charged with one. Employment options can become limited in the future when you have a recorded criminal conviction, and you may have to settle for a lower paying job.

Credibility among your friends, family, and social circle can quickly diminish as a result of a DUI. If you are someone that strives to network and interact with others, you may find doors closed after you are caught drinking and driving. People in your sphere of influence may not want to do business with you because they do not wish to tarnish their image. A DUI can hurt your personal credibility and limit your networking options, thus, making it harder for you to excel and achieve your goals.

3. Danger

Driving under the influence, first and foremost, puts you and others in physical danger. The people you are traveling with, as well as anyone else on the road, are all going to be at risk from your impaired driving. You could seriously injure someone, or much worse, end a life. Hurting or killing someone as an impaired driver could have you facing criminal charges, and you will then have much more to deal with than just some fees.

You do not want to be the cause of heartbreak and devastation, both in your life and in someone else's. By avoiding drinking and driving you can easily prevent a dangerous and tragic incident.

4. Time

The time and hassle it takes to go through DUI charges and conviction add up to hours and days lost. You have to dedicate time to deal with the DMV, courts, lawyers, disciplinary school and other obligations related to the offense. And most of these obligations require you to take time off from work. So you not only have to pay a good amount in fees for a DUI conviction, but you may wind up losing additional money since you have to take so much time off from work.

5. Stress

Realizing and having to deal with everything that comes with a DUI, takes a toll on your body. The stress of having to go to court, attend DUI classes, pay hefty fines, and explain to people the circumstances leading up to your DUI can last for awhile. Even years after you have been convicted, you could still feel the stress from having to pay down fees, or by being denied employment because of your record.

In the end, the true cost of a DUI has a significant impact on your life. Your bank account, physical well-being, and social acceptance all suffer when you are not responsible.

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