Don’t drink and drive.
I would call the above admonishment “common sense” – except for the fact that it doesn’t appear to be terribly common. Maybe “good sense” would be more accurate. In 2008, over 11,000 deaths were caused by drunk driving, and those deaths accounted for over 30% of the total number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. that year. People really ought to know better by now.
Besides the obvious fact that you might kill yourself or someone else, there are other risks associated with driving under the influence. If you get caught, it can result in a legal nightmare. In addition to license suspension/revocation, having a DUI on one’s record will probably result in higher insurance premiums, and might cause some employers to think twice about an applicant, and, in some industries, might preclude employment altogether. It is estimated that, when all is said and done, the average DUI conviction costs the defendant approximately $10,000, when you factor in bail, fines, towing, insurance rate hikes, and legal fees. That analysis assumes that the DUI did not result in an accident or injuries. Obviously, those would cause the costs to skyrocket.
These problems are further compounded for individuals with multiple DUI convictions on their records.
Fortunately, according to LegalMatch case statistics from the past year, the majority of DUI defendants seeking attorneys though our service have no previous DUI convictions, and of those who do have prior convictions, the number is usually very low (1 or 2). This probably means that most people who get a DUI learn their lesson. There is, properly, a large social stigma associated with drunk driving. This might deter people from driving drunk much more than the legal consequences, and would explain the apparently low number of repeat offenders.
Some people, however, don’t appear to have learned their lesson. There are a few individuals seeking attorneys through LegalMatch who have prior DUI convictions numbering in the double digits. How these people are still allowed anywhere near a car escapes me.
While it appears that many individuals don’t appreciate the dangers of drinking and driving until they’ve actually done it (and gotten caught, or worse), most of those people do seem to get the point once they’ve had to face criminal prosecution, pay larger insurance premiums, and suffer the social stigma associated with drunk driving.
If only more people didn’t have to learn this lesson firsthand.