Don’t get surprised if you find the figure of $15,649 as penalty for drunk driving in California. The Southern California Automobile Club has estimated that your first DUI conviction in California might cost you a whooping $15,649. The penalties for teenage offenders are even higher. The first offender teens below 21 years of age might end up losing up to $22,492.
The Auto Club calculated the potential cost of first-time DUI conviction by summing up legal fines, penalties, restitution charges, mandatory state and local fines and the increase in insurance premiums. This estimated cost of DUI conviction doesn’t include thousands of dollars that drivers might have to bear in terms of paying for vehicle damage, getting bail and loss of working hours due to criminal proceedings and statutory jail confinements.
The estimate also excluded the cost involved with installing an ignition interlock device in your car or the consequences of other drunk-driving convictions like civil trials.
Steven A. Bloch, Senior Researcher of Auto Club explains that your reaction time, braking judgment, steering and vision gets affected by mere taking one or two drinks as this quantity, even though it may sound small to you, is sufficient enough to influence your physical and mental skills. A recent AAA report published the results of their survey claiming that almost 10 percent drivers accepted that they resorted to drive even though being aware of higher than the permissible alcohol level in their bloodstream.
The Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencies in California look for DUI offenders by using sobriety checkpoints, particularly the heavy drinking periods like St. Patrick’s Day. You need to be very careful while driving this St. Patrick’s Day party time.