Today marks the beginning of the official holiday season, a time to be thankful for our friends and family, sharing the love with everyone we encounter. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done, especially as stress and family collide with more “quality” time at home. Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of the most dangerous DUI time of the year, also known as the holiday season. Statistically speaking, as we have more time from work, more visits with relatives and old friends, and the slower pace of the season we also have too much time to drink… and then we must get home. This year, let’s remember that perhaps the best Black Friday deal is not having to face a DUI disaster.
A “simple,” first-offense DUI could cost $10,000:
- Court costs, fines, and fees.
- Administrative fees and costs from the DMV.
- Substance abuse evaluations.
- Ignition interlock leasing costs.
- Lost wages due to court dates or a suspended license.
- Attorney’s fees.
- Higher car insurance premiums.
$10,000 may be on the low side, as many states are reporting average costs of $12,000 – $16,000 for first-offense DUI. Those costs rise with property damage, injury to anyone involved in the incident, and of course if a fatality or other aggravating circumstance occurs.
Any amount of alcohol will impair judgment or reaction time, with each drink increasing a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). That means even if you just have a beer with Uncle Joe or a glass of wine with Granny, every sip can add up to a bigger financial burden during the holiday season than stuffing stockings ever could.
Thanksgiving brings out the best and worst in us all, including the challenges of the holiday season ahead. Save yourself $10,000 or more this year by having a safety plan for Black Friday, the rest of 2016, and throughout the years to come.