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How to Avoid the Costs of a DUI Charge

Naomi Cook | March 28, 2023

Summary: Prevention is your best defense against the high cost of DUI, but if you’ve already been charged with driving under the influence, you can also attempt a plea bargain, contest the DUI stop, ensure your Miranda Rights weren’t violated, and contest the breathalyzer test in order to avoid the high costs of a DUI charge.

Did you know that around one hour after you’ve started reading this article, a person has died due to drinking and driving in the United States? Sadly, accidents caused by DUIs claim more than 10,000 lives every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Drinking under the influence is a criminal offense that has severe consequences, especially if the result is a car accident. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to understand the consequences of such a charge, including how it can affect a person’s financial stability.

What is the cost of a DUI charge, and how can you avoid such an expense?

How can you avoid or lessen the costs associated with DUIs?

It's best to consult with good lawyers available online who can provide you with all the legal advice you need as you deal with a DUI charge. At the same time, managing the ensuing debt after calculating damages caused by a DUI case is equally pertinent.

This article provides information about the financial liabilities associated with DUIs. It gives you an idea of what to expect from a DUI charge regarding costs, expenses, and fines. More importantly, you’ll get tips on mitigating the costs of DUIs and protecting yourself from this unfavorable situation.

Financial Cost of DUIs: Liabilities and Responsibilities

A DUI case is not only a roadside altercation but a life-changing event for everyone involved. Driving while impaired due to alcohol intake or drugs is a reckless act that constitutes a crime in the United States.

Surrounding every DUI are liabilities for everyone involved in the cause of the accident or crash. Alongside these liabilities are the responsibilities of those charged with DUIs to everyone affected by their reckless actions.

Who Is Liable in a DUI Case?

There are two sides to the liability coin in every DUI case. The driver or first party, who is DUI, and those who contributed to the first party’s intoxication or third party.

A drunk driver incurs financial responsibilities because they’re the first party in a DUI case. Costs for DUIs may significantly compound when everything adds up.

You’ll need to pay bail, fees, and penalties, and hire an attorney. You’ll also spend on vehicle towing and miscellaneous expenses, not including the impact on your character and the possible limited chances of finding work after the arrest.

You can quickly calculate that costs for a DUI can soar easily to upwards of thousands of dollars. Remember that the actual fines and penalties may differ in every state and can be higher depending on the gravity of the DUI case.

What are the liabilities and responsibilities of a third party in a DUI case?

The third party in a DUI crash is the one who contributed to the driver's intoxication. Third parties typically include pubs, taverns, liquor stores, and restaurants that sell alcohol. The prosecution must establish a direct connection between the third party and the driver to make the third party liable for the damages and injuries from the DUI.

Use these five tips to avoid DUI costs

1. Don’t drink and drive

The best tip to avoid DUI costs is not to drink and drive. You should remember that the legal limit for blood alcohol levels in most states is 0.08%, which you can reach after four to five drinks.

2. Attempt a plea bargain

You can generally seek a plea bargain or agreement to reduce the penalties or sentence for a DUI. To get a plea bargain, you need to plead guilty to a lesser offense with lesser penalties.

You’ll need to consult with your lawyers to attempt a plea bargain, especially to determine which offense you’ll plead guilty to in exchange for the lower punishment.

3. Contest DUI stops

Another way to reduce your DUI cost is to contest the manner of your stop and arrest. Law enforcement requires two bases to justify a traffic stop: reasonable suspicion and probable cause.

  • Reasonable suspicion is a criminal procedure used to determine if the police officer's decision to search someone was legal. The police must see for themselves these following cues to make a search legal:
    • Impaired motorists cues
    • Post stop cues
    • Motorcycle-impaired driving detection cues
  • Probable cause is another determiner of whether a police search is legal. For you to determine probable cause, the police must have the following:
    • A basis that a suspect is most likely to have committed the crime
    • Evidence is present at the scene that may provide the suspect’s guilt

4. Ensure your Miranda Rights weren’t violated

Another way to help reduce or avoid DUI costs is to contest the arrest citing that there was a violation of Miranda rights.

This violation means that a driver stopped for suspected DUI violations can have their case dismissed if the officer didn’t inform them of their right to remain silent, their right against self-incrimination, and their right to have an attorney provided for them.

5. Contest breathalyzer tests

Breathalyzers and other sobriety tests may provide wrong information depending on their used condition. Tests completed under certain circumstances can lead to skewed results. A reasonable defense attorney can see where lapses have occurred during an arrest and can use these defenses to dismiss a trial or reduce one's sentence upon conviction.

The Bottom Line

Remember that prevention is your best defense against the high cost of a DUI charge. So, the next time you’ve had a few drinks and think it’s okay to drive yourself home, don’t. Better hail a cab and spend $18 than risk getting charged with a DUI and spend thousands.

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