Gone are the days when the only people getting DUI's are people like Otis Campbell (the “town drunk” from The Andy Griffith Show, for the millennials reading this). Most people do not realize how common DUI arrests are these days. No one ever expects to get a DUI, and no one considers it could also happen to a loved one.
In 2012, 1.28 million arrests were made for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That means one person per 164 licensed individuals in the U.S. had a DUI in that year alone. This means statistically; at least one person in my neighborhood will have a DUI each year. For some, it is a first-time mistake that is somewhat tolerated. For others who have had prior offenses, the accused must figure out how manage without a driver's license, deal with possible time in jail, and seek the forgiveness of family members who will invariably be harmed by the collateral consequences of the DUI.
For almost anyone, the financial burden of a DUI can be devastating. The following are just some of the costs associated with a DUI:
- Court fines
- Probation fees
- DUI School
- Alcohol and drug counseling
- Increased insurance premiums
- License reinstatement fees
- Cost of taxi or Über rides
- Lost time from work
The most significant cost that is not listed above is the cost of lost opportunities. The first (and least) opportunity cost is the time spent dealing with the case and the actual cost of the above-listed. However, the larger future price is when a person either loses their job, cannot move to a new job, or cannot seek promotion because of a DUI.
What Can a DUI Lawyer Do for Me?
Getting the best representation is both a cost and potentially cost-saving. Georgia DUI Attorneys are expensive; however, when a person is poorly represented or when they represent themselves, the effect can be devastating. A Georgia DUI Lawyer can potentially minimize the impact on your life. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to get the case reduced to reckless driving, or, at least, seek a reduced sentence.
One Final Bit of Counsel
I am fortunate to be able to help people who truly need it. I am often asked by the less informed how I can represent “those people,” as if my clients are terrible human beings. Nothing could be further from the truth. My clients have very often made a one-time mistake. As the Bible says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged" (Matthew 7:1, KJV).