How much will your DUI cost?

College is supposed to be the time of your life. Your classes are preparing you for a great career, you're making friends and enjoying your time away from home. Whether it's going out dancing on a Friday night, celebrating a Bulldogs victory or hanging out at home with your friends, alcohol may be involved. But if you've been drinking, you might want to consider the potential costs involved with driving.

Anytime you drink and drive, you take serious risks. Wrecking your car or causing property damage may seem like minor details compared to the possibility of seriously hurting or even killing yourself or others. And, Georgia's driving under the influence (DUI) laws hold serious consequences.

Penalties associated with a DUI

Though people at least 21 years old are legal to drink, if you get caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% you could be in trouble. For drivers under the legal drinking age, that BAC drops to 0.02%. And while your penalties will include monetary fees, the overall cost of drinking and driving involves much more than a financial burden.

If you're under 21, your first DUI offense could result in license suspension for up to one year, depending on your BAC. If so, you'll have to pay a $210 fee to reinstate your license.  You will likely also have to attend a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP), otherwise known as DUI school.  DUI school costs approximately $360.

But if you're 21 or older, your DUI could cost you:

  • License suspension for up to one year
  • $210 license reinstatement fee
  • $360 for RRP attendance
  • A fine between $300-$1,000 plus court surcharges
  • 40 hours of community service work

You could also face up to one year of imprisonment.

Think about the full effect a DUI will have

If you wonder about how much a DUI could cost you, you should realize there are many factors to consider. Some penalties will directly affect your financial situation. Others could have an impact on your schooling and employment. But because the largest cost of drunk driving is that it could take someone's life, your cost analysis should lead you to avoid getting behind the wheel if you've been drinking.

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