As a Cherokee County DUI Lawyer, I know that when discussing how much a DUI costs, many people think of court costs, fines, and fees. However, the price of a DUI in Georgia is not limited to these immediate out of pocket expenses. The consequences of a DUI conviction in Georgia include opportunity costs, such as with employment, the time value of money, and increases in your insurance premium.
Immediate Out of Pocket Expenses
A typical DUI in Georgia is considered to be a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors carry up to 12 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. But this $1,000 is a base fine that will be assessed with each ticket associated with a person's DUI charge. For example, if you are charged with DUI, Speeding, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Maintain Lane, you are facing a base fine of up to $4,000 and 48 months in jail. One way that a qualified attorney can keep the costs associated with a DUI lower is to limit the number of offenses to which a person pleads guilty.
Until someone directly loses a job, they cannot completely know the opportunity cost associated with a DUI conviction. Many employers will not hire someone with a DUI charge because there is a perception that receiving a DUI demonstrates a character flaw. I do not agree with this line of thinking – a DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude and does not necessarily show one's character.
Additionally, many government certificates may be delayed when a person is convicted of a DUI. It may affect a person's military career and will prevent you from having top-secret security clearance.
Further, many employers provide a vehicle to their employees. If an employee has a DUI, however, the car cannot be insured. Most car rental companies will similarly not rent to those with DUI convictions.
Finally, a few countries will not allow people with DUI convictions to travel there. For example, Canada considers DUI a felony and will not allow someone convicted to visit for ten years.
Time Value of Money
The basic calculation after a DUI conviction is not promising. A busy professional taking time to attend court, complete community service, attend DUI classes, and attend court-mandated counseling sessions will undoubtedly require a great deal of unpaid time.
A good example of the time value cost of a DUI can be seen in community service. The typical professional may earn $30 an hour. As a result of community service, a professional is providing free labor instead of doing their job.
When considering what a DUI in Georgia will cost, it is best to instead look for ways to avoid one in the first place. Have a designated driver, take Uber, or consume only one or two drinks when you know you will be driving. As a Cherokee County DUI Attorney, I know that DUIs are preventable. If you have been charged with a DUI in Cherokee County, call us today. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.