You’ve seen our slogan “Cheaper Than A DUI” on our vehicles, and maybe you have even laughed at it. But the truth is that law enforcement takes DUI very seriously in Florida and here in Pinellas County. Setting aside the fact that an impaired driver poses a serious risk of injury or death to himself and others that may be on the road with him, getting cited for a DUI will put a serious hit on your wallet.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles‘ website, the first conviction for a DUI will cost between $500 and $1,000 in initial fines. In Florida, DUI is defined as a blood alcohol level of .08, but if the breathalyzer registers a BAL of .15, or if you have a minor in the car with you, that fine rises to $1,000 to $2,000.
But that is just the fines imposed by the State, and the “hidden costs” of a DUI are what really rack up the bills. Court costs are typically between $500 and $1,000. DUI school is almost $300. The judge may order weeks or even months of alcohol counseling and treatment, and that can run between $700 and $1,000.
That’s just the start. The police will impound your car for a minimum of ten days, and charge you a daily fee for that. You may need to rent a car for those ten days, so figure $500 for car rental, minimum. Of course, you lose your license for a year, but if the judge allows you to get a Business Purposes Only permit, that will cost $225.
If your BAL is .15 or greater, the court will order an ignition interlock for at least six months. This is like taking a breathalyzer to start your car. This costs $87 to install, and $72.50 per month for monitoring, for a total of $522. Court appearances, community service, meeting with your probation officer can cause you to miss work, so only you can determine what that will cost you. And of course, should you choose to hire a lawyer, his fees are on top of all those costs.
But the big ticket item is insurance. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to get what is call a FR-44 policy, which typically runs $5,000 a year, and you have to maintain it for a minimum of three years, so that expense is $15,000 minimum.
It’s just not worth chancing it. “Cheaper Than A DUI” may sound funny, but it really is true. Call Downtown Yellow Taxi at (727) 379-4440, and save our number in your phone so you never have to chance it. The life you save may be your own.
Happening this weekend:
Thursday June 9th
Gogol Bordello and Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls at Jannus Live 6 pm
Friday June 10th
The Wrenchers at the Amsterdam 8 pm
Grandpas Cough Medicine at The Ale and The Witch 8:30 pm
Saturday June 11th
Urban Gypsies of Florida at The Ale and The Witch 8:30 pm