The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, known for its rich history and diverse landscapes, also has stringent laws when it comes to driving under the influence. The Department of Transportation reported that 20% of all fatal traffic accidents are due to impaired driving.
Beyond the obvious risks to safety, the financial consequences of a DUI can be steep and often catch individuals off guard.
Court-ordered financial penalties
Fines imposed by the state can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the offense and whether it is a repeat occurrence. Immediate costs may also include towing charges and impound rates, which could be a couple of hundred dollars.
Individuals convicted of a DUI may also face court-ordered restitution payments. These payments compensate any victims and the amount depends on the damages resulting from the accident. The court may also require individuals to take education courses or attend rehabilitation programs, which they must pay for themselves. These expenses could add up to another $2,000 or more.
Insurance rate hikes
Insurance companies view DUI offenses as high-risk behavior, leading to significant increases in premiums. Individuals can expect to see a jump of around $1,000 for a year policy. Maintaining auto insurance coverage is a legal requirement, so the increased premiums are unavoidable.
Loss of income
Individuals must also consider the potential loss of income resulting from a suspended or revoked driver’s license. A license suspension is a common penalty for DUI convictions and can hinder individuals’ ability to commute to work. The resulting reliance on alternative transportation options, such as public transit or rideshare services, can quickly become an added expense.
The financial costs of a DUI are various. Understanding these hidden expenses is important for individuals to make informed decisions and avoid the long-term financial consequences associated with impaired driving.