When facing DUI charges, most people fear that they might face jail time. However, a drunk driving conviction can lead to many more consequences that affect you – and your bank account – in the long term.
So, what are the financial effects of a DUI?
The financial penalties are hard-hitting
One lapse in judgment on one night could result in hefty fines. In Tennessee, even a first time DUI offense could result in:
- Fines up to $1,500
- Potential bail
- Ignition interlock device installation costs
- Restitution for damage or harm caused
This is not to mention the ensuing towing, vehicle and insurance costs that pile up after a conviction as well.
Paying these financial penalties can be incredibly difficult when you factor in the other penalties, including serving jail time and losing driving privileges. On top of that, a DUI conviction can also impact your career and job prospects – especially if you have a professional license or commercial driver’s license.
The more severe the charge, the higher the price
DUI penalties become even harsher – and much more extensive – if drunk driving results in the injury or death of another person. Drivers could face felony charges for vehicular homicide along with:
- License revocation for up to 10 years
- Up to 30 years in prison
- Fines up to $25,000
A new bill emphasizes responsibility – and higher penalties
A few months ago, the Tennessee legislature passed a new bill that would add another long-term financial penalty for convictions of vehicular homicide by intoxication. If drunk driving resulted in the death of a parent with minor children, then the individual convicted of the vehicular homicide by intoxication would have to pay child support to the surviving children until the children turn 18.
The bill has not yet passed into law. However, it highlights the serious risk that DUI charges could pose to both one’s personal and financial life. This is just one mor example of how lawmakers are cracking down on drunk driving. The penalties are increasing. It is critical to avoid the risks of a DUI conviction by not drinking and driving in the first place. However, if you do find yourself charged with a DUI, it is essential to hire an experienced DUI attorney.