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The Real Cost of Driving Drunk
DAYTON -- With some serious partying happening on St. Patrick's Day, there are usually several OVI arrests in the Miami Valley.
With an arrest comes fear and shame and a real cost -- not only to your reputation, but also to your bank account.
On Super Bowl Sunday, we were there as a Kettering man -- suspected of driving under the influence - refused a breathalyzer test. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends his license for a year. That's just the start of his troubles.
"You can appeal it, but initially yes, it's a one-year suspension you're facing - at a minimum - on a first offense," explained Attorney Mark Deters. Much of his practice is defending people who are suspected of driving under the influence.
"They used to call it the $10,000 cocktail," Deters explained, and in some cases it's much more.
First, there is jail, your mugshot forever sealed in the public record. Then you have to pay to get out of jail. With a good attorney, your case will cost between $3,000 to 5,000, and that's if you don't go to trial.
"Going to a DUI program, paying a fine, court costs, reinstatement fee, a lawyer, you've got to remember the lost work time, how much does that cost per day, the tow charge, when your car gets towed," said Deters.
And that is if the judge grants you driving privileges to get to the job you hopefully kept.
"Driving is a person's livelihood. And professionals, they could lose their license over a DUI. Teachers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists and students in those fields."
This class-less crime also costs you when it comes to insurance. A first offense can put you at the high-risk rate. Then you have to pay to go through court-mandated counseling for hundreds of dollars.
"It costs them time, it costs them money, it costs them jobs, it costs them their license, just basic privileges that we take for granted," said Erika Tabb who helps run the Ohio Intervention Center in Vandalia.
With the free cab rides Montgomery County offered for St. Patrick's Day festivities, Mark Deters says there are no excuses.
"There's no reason for people to be calling my office tomorrow because they got a DUI. There just isn't."
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