Taxi or DUI Arrest?

Last week an old friend called me to say he was working on an ad campaign for a taxi company and wanted to know the costs of being charged and convicted of drunk driving. The gist of his campaign was a comparison of the costs of taking a taxi versus the costs of a DUI conviction.
Our conversation, which lasted almost an hour, detailed all the costs of being arrested, charged and convicted of drunk driving. First, unless you want to go it alone or get a court appointed attorney, is the cost of a drunk driving lawyer. If you want to hire your own attorney, expect to pay anywhere between $1000 to $5000. Although you might find less, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of competent and caring court appointed lawyers but they are not making a lot of money on your case and, if they rely on court appointments to make a living, they have only so much time to devote to your case. If you go it alone, well, that’s like hiring a plumber to do your open heart surgery.

If this is your first offense and you are charged with impaired driving, the fine is $300. If you are charged with OWI, the fine is $500. You can also expect to pay court costs and other fees totaling $400 or $500. You will also pay a driver responsibility fee of $500 or $1000 for the next two years depending on whether you are charged with impaired or DUI. You will also pay a probation fee of anywhere between $10 to $40 per month for 12 months and you will be compelled to go to the local police station at least monthly and take a breath test to make sure you are not drinking.

So taking a taxi might cost $20 or so, plus a tip. Getting arrested for impaired driving or DUI will cost you a whole lot more.