Sharon Berlin: Driving Under the Influence or DUI is never acceptable; it threatens your life as well as the lives of innocent people around you. In addition to crashing your car, your reckless actions can cause you a DUI conviction and strict sentences. What are the real costs of a DUI? It can cost you your life. In 2010, over 10 thousand drivers lost there lives in alcohol-related crashes. That's one death every 51 minutes.
Alcohol is involved in nearly one in three motor vehicle deaths. It can cost the life of an innocent person. More than one in three alcohol-related traffic deaths are of passengers, occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians who have been hit by drivers who have been drinking. It can cost you your freedom.
A first time conviction for a DUI offense can result in a six to twelve month jail sentence. Repeat offenders or impaired drivers who hit or kill someone face lengthier sentences.
Monitoring bracelets, ignition interlock devices, license revocation and probation restrict how you live your life. It can cost you financially. Even for a first-time DUI conviction, legal fees, insurance premiums, and bail could cost you over $10,000.
Times spent to court, alcohol classes, community service, and jail also mean time away from work. And for some professions, if you lose your license you may lose your job. A DUI conviction may also cost you feature employment opportunities. Certain professions that require background checks or licenses such as doctors or lawyers may not hire you if you have a DUI conviction on your record.
Remember, if you're driving don't drink and if you're drinking don't drive. Encourage your friends to do the same reminding them of the real cost of the DUI.