What You Don't Know
Unless you're the socially awkward friend or an extreme health nut, no one really wants to be the designated driver.
For this reason, it is so common for people to take their chances driving home after having a few.
In cities like New York where you don't need a car to survive, you have nothing to worry about.
For everyone else, however, the temptation is real.
Obviously, no one wants to be charged a with DUI (Driving Under Influence).
It's important, however, to understand what exactly happens if decide to drink and drive and get caught.
The process of a DUI arrest will cost you about $7,000 to $10,000 USD and around 100 to 300 hours of your time outside of your usual activities.
Think about that for a moment.
Being just 5 to 30 minutes away from your home could cost your $10,000 dollars, if you're caught and arrested for DUI.
That is absolutely repulsive.
Always remember, cops are not your friend.
A friend takes you home, not to jail.
Cops were meant to be heroes, but they really only exist to make the rich richer.
When you get arrested, everyone in the legal system benefits except you.
Cops, jails, bail bondsman, lawyers, judges, counsel evaluators, probation facilities, and non-profit organizations.
Once in jail, if a friend or a loved one can't bail you out, they'll need the help of a bail bondsman.
The bondsman's fee is regulated by the state or district, but their cost may be between $600 to $1,000.
They will then pay your remaining bail balance to bail you out.
You'll then need to find a good lawyer that handles cases in that district.
Good lawyers spend time keeping a decent relationship with the prosecutors and judges in their district.
Before things actually go to court, they will negotiate deals to lessen your charges.
Lawyer fees will cost you between $3,500 to $5,000, which is generally paid in full upfront.
Unless you demand a jury trial, your case will take place in general court.
You'll be in a room filled with other defendants and lawyers waiting to be called upon by the prosecutor.
If you're lucky, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to lower your charge(s) to Reckless Driving.
When you actually go to court, the prosecutor will then suggest to the judge that your charge(s) be lowered.
Regardless, you will be put on probation at a minimum of 12 months minus the time spent in jail.
That means you'll have to pay another fine of about $1,200 to $2,000 to the probation organization.
In addition to that you may have to pay $10 to $50 per month to your probation officer, which the requirements vary by district.
That means no alcohol during probation.
That means you'll most likely be required visit a Drug and Alcohol Evaluator to determine if you need additional treatment.
That evaluation will cost you between $75 to $100.
Being on probation means you'll be given about 80 to 200 hours of community service.
This means while maintaining a job, you'll have to make time to handle your community service hours in the time frame set by your probation officer.
If you do not meet this deadline, you will serve more jail time.
Some probation officers provide you with a list of non-profit organizations that you must choose from to complete your community service.
You will find that most of these organizations are a lot less functional than for-profit organizations.
The intelligence for a lot of them will be sub-par and not convenient to your location.
BAC Doesn't Matter
The BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is a per se indication of intoxication.
Just because you're a little over the 0.08 BAC, that doesn't mean that you are actually under the influence of alcohol.
You may not be negatively affected by the alcohol because of how your body processes it.
To a cop, it doesn't matter.
They can and will arrest you even if you are under 0.08.
This is why it is important to drive just below the speed limit even if all you had was one drink.
Pay Attention: NEVER FALL FOR THEIR GAMES.
Admitting that you have been drinking that day OR choosing to take the field sobriety test OR accepting the breathalyzer are games or tricks used by cops to build their case against you.
NEVER ADMIT that you have been drinking that day.
NEVER TAKE the field sobriety test.
NEVER ACCEPT to blow in the breathalyzer.
NEVER ACCEPT any blood withdrawals for BAC testing.
If you're pulled over, the cop will most likely smell the alcohol, so you're going to jail regardless.
It's your job to make your lawyer's job easy.
With less proof against your, your lawyer can to get charges dropped or lowered.
Always remember that you are being filmed and recorded.
They wear digital recorders that clearly record everything you say.
Some vests capture video and audio, but even if it only captures audio, their vehicle is filming you.
Say the officer claims they could smell alcohol on you.
That means nothing because someone in the bar accidentally spilled their drink on you, right?
When you decline all sobriety tests, say it's because you don't trust any human or machine to judge you.
So what if you have to spend the night in jail.
At least they have less evidence against you.
How To Not Get Caught
Now that you know what to expect, if you were to get caught, let's go over how to not get caught.
When you're out with friends drinking and having fun, the last thing you want to do is call a taxi and leave your car behind.
That means you have to find a way to get your car the next day and that just sucks.
When you wake up, you should be enjoying the memories and not worried about getting your car.
What if I told you that you can have your cake and eat it too?
What if you could make it home drunk and have your car there when you wake up?
There are services available that are more amazing than any taxi service.
These are designated driving services that send two people to your location.
One is a paid employee, while the other is a company volunteer.
Keep in mind these are mostly non-profit organizations, so they can't survive without volunteers.
The employee drives you home in your car, while the company volunteer trails behind.
Once you arrive home, the driver then leaves with the volunteer.
The best part is that it costs nearly as much as a taxi and they'll even drive a fairly long distance to take your home.
SafeRide America in Atlanta, GA is such a service and there is a lot more like them across the world.
These are mostly non-profit organizations that work with established volunteers to make sure you arrive home safely.
If you don't have one in your area, this is a fairly simple business model to start your own company.
Remember, non-profit only means the company doesn't keep income for itself.
The employees still get paid including the owners.
Try volunteering one night to see how the business works.
The only downside is that you work extremely late hours like from 8PM to 4AM.
This type of business generally charges a base fee $10 to $15 and then $2 to $3 per mile.
Now that you know how disgusting DUIs are, what would you rather pay for a night out with friends?
$10,000 or $50?
Well Live and Learn
Author, Tre Revilo, is a writer and solutions enthusiast for Life Element. He is well aware that his style is an acquired taste and that his brutally honest delivery isn't for everyone. If you enjoy talking about traveling, investing, flirting, dating or relationship issues, he's your dude. The opinions of writers do not reflect those of the company. We certainly do appreciate, however, their research and unique perspectives.