You drive to Taco Tuesday to meet some friends for dinner and drinks after class. You spend about an hour and a half hanging out and eating, and before you know it you’ve had 2 margaritas. You think to yourself that you’ve had an entire basket of chips and a few tacos and you feel totally fine to drive home. Beware of this $16,000 cocktail. To legally drive, your BAC must be below 0.08 if you are 21 and over. You may not even feel buzzed, but those 2 margaritas could have easily raised your Blood Alcohol Content to a .09, which is still considered a DUI, and is no different legally than if you had a BAC of .20. Having a few drinks with dinner can be especially deceptive, because you will likely not be intoxicated enough to feel it. Always plan to have a designated driver, and do some research on how alcohol influences your Blood Alcohol Content so that you can make an educated guess about yours. Most importantly, do not risk it. You’ll never regret taking a cab or calling a friend, but the consequences of getting a DUI are steep.
In 2013, the Automobile Club of Southern California calculated that a first-offense misdemeanor DUI conviction can now cost up to $15,649 in California. The penalties are even higher for teenagers. The expense of an under-age-21 first-offense misdemeanor DUI is up to $22,492.
If you are convicted of a California DUI charge, a drunk driving charge will result in a variety of DUI costs and consequences in California, including:
- Loss of your drivers license in CA for at least one year (perhaps longer)
- The loss of your driver’s license could restrict you from getting to your place of work, or obtain future employment opportunities. Also, if your position requires you drive you might lose your job.
- You have to pay for anything the judge orders you to do. If you get an ignition interlock device, there are many costs associated with installation, monitoring, and removal. In addition, you will have to pay for court mandated alcohol education classes, and renewing your license.
- A conviction of a DUI will cause your CA car insurance payments to increase. Also, if you are in an accident and are convicted of driving under the influence, the insurance company could cause issues with payment.
While those two margaritas may seem like no big deal, the moment you see red and blue lights pulling you over, it is a very big deal. If you have any doubts about your ability to legally drive, take a cab back to campus for about $7, and save yourself $15,649.00. . .you do the math.