An individual’s personal, professional and financial future can be greatly affected by a conviction of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). There are a number of punishments that are passed down to those convicted of DUI including license suspension, having to use an ignition interlock device, alcohol education classes, high fines. and the possibility of jail time. All of these punishments will vary in length and severity dependent upon the state in which the arrest takes place.
All of the punishments for being convicted of DUI should be taken seriously, but what many individuals do not take into consideration is the long term repercussions they will have to endure as a result of their actions. The most serious of these long term effects is what a DUI conviction can do to an individual’s personal finances. The cost for a DUI in Alaska is high and includes, at the very least, lawyer’s fees, court costs, and the sometimes very high fines that make up the penalties for those who drink and drive.
What Financial Repercussions Will I Face Short Term?
Being arrested for DUI alone can have an immediate impact on an individual’s wallet. These costs include towing, storage, and impoundment costs for the vehicle after being arrested if no one is available to or the arresting officer does not allow someone else to pick up the vehicle. After these immediate costs, the individual will also have to incur the costs of trying their DUI case in court. These costs include the fees for hiring a lawyer, court costs, and the fines passed down as punishment.
It is these second set of costs that begin the financial troubles for many individuals. Hiring a good DUI lawyer, which is a responsible thing to do, is expensive and the fines that state’s assign as punishment for this type of crime can be very, very high. Alaska has some of the highest DUI fines out of all the 50 states – first offenders can expect to pay a fine of $1,500, second offenders a fine of $3,000, and a third time offender will be facing fines between $4,000 all the way to $10,000.
There is no way to hide the extreme costs that individuals will face if they are convicted of DUI. All of these costs will not only affect the offender’s wallet immediately, but may have repercussions far into their future. While the monetary fines for the state of Alaska are very high, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of these fines for first time and repeat offenders will vary depending on the state in which the conviction takes place.
What Financial Repercussions Will I Face Long Term?
Most of the financial consequences discussed so far can be considered short-term in some regards. What some individuals often do not realize is that the long-term financial consequences can often be much more detrimental. Car insurance premiums are something that many people do not consider but incidents, speeding tickets and especially DUI can have a huge effect on the cost of insurance. An increase in an individual’s car insurance premiums after a DUI conviction can be very harsh.
How Much Will My Insurance Rates be Raised after a DUI in Alaska?
There is no question that a car insurance rate increase will occur after being convicted of DUI. Insurance companies charge individuals for coverage based on the company’s perceived risk, and having a DUI on an individual’s driving record is a sign of very risky behavior. For the state of Alaska, much of the car insurance increase will be determined by the insurance company the individual has, but generally they will incur an almost 60 percent rate increase, equal to about a $65 increase in monthly premiums.
After reviewing all this information, it is clear that the financial repercussions of a DUI are steep, both in the short-term and the long-term. When all of the financial implications are taken into consideration, include towing and storage fees for the vehicle, the cost of a lawyer, court costs, monetary fines, and car insurance premium increases individuals are facing up to $40,000 for a DUI mistake that could be avoided. It is important to also remember that these financials do not include any loss of income.
Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?
The financial repercussions incurred from a DUI conviction can be very damaging to an individual’s life. This is why it is so important to seek the legal advice and representation of a knowledgeable DUI attorney. Although hiring a good attorney can be expensive, if he or she is able to have the client’s charges reduced or the case dismissed all together, it is possible for the individual to save tens of thousands of dollars long term.
A reputable DUI lawyer will know the ins and outs of DUI law for the state in which the client was arrested and charged. He or she will take the time to carefully review the case and gather evidence to use as a defense against the prosecutor trying the client’s case. In the state of Alaska, it is possible for an offender to participate in a plea bargain that will require them to plead guilty but to a lesser charge. Having a good DUI attorney can make these bargains more possible and the lesser charges, like reckless driving or wet reckless where alcohol is implicated, tend to be less expensive overall.
The negative repercussions of being convicted of DUI can be very damaging to an individual’s personal and financial life. High fines, license suspensions, jail time and the other penalties of DUI are not worth getting behind the wheel after drinking, not to mention the risk the individual then poses to themselves and other drivers on the road. In order to avoid having to pay the high cost of a DUI conviction, be responsible when drinking and never drink and drive.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.