DUIs are expensive, even if it's your first offense. The financial and emotional costs of a DUI conviction should be taken into account when deciding whether to fight the charge. A DUI arrest in the state of Georgia cannot be erased from your criminal record, and the consequences of a conviction can be far-reaching. Employers may not accept someone with a DUI, and companies may even cancel your policy after a DUI conviction appears on your driving record.
If arrested, it is important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Reinstatement of a driver's license still carries a fee, and completing a mandatory clinical evaluation is also required for a second DUI offense in Georgia. Fines, court costs, probation service fees, and the cost of attending DUI therapy and school are all factors to consider when discussing the costs of a DUI. Every year, Georgia has more than 200,000 DUI arrests and Atlanta's 5 metropolitan counties account for more than 20,000 arrests each.
In addition to jail time and fines, most people have to complete community service, DUI school, alcohol or drug treatment, and attend classes. Those convicted of drunk driving must not only pay costly fines and the costs associated with DUI School and other mandatory programs, but also face possible termination of their work and a permanent criminal record. Taking time to attend court, do community service, attend DUI school, and attend counseling sessions can take a lot of unpaid time. As is true across the state, a second-offense conviction for DUI in Atlanta ten years from now warrants at least 72 hours in jail, potentially extending by 90 days.
Many companies provide a vehicle that cannot be insured by a person who has a DUI, and most car rental agencies don't rent to DUI drivers. The financial burden of a DUI conviction can be overwhelming. It is important to remember that the emotional cost of a DUI conviction can be just as damaging as the financial cost. A DUI conviction can have long-term effects on your career prospects and personal relationships.
It is important to weigh all the costs before deciding whether or not to fight your charge.