What is the true cost of the last drink of the night?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 8:19pm

One last drink can be the perfect ending to a night out on the town. But while that $10 price tag can seem like a deal at the time, it may not seem that way after the State Police see a car driving irregularly and stop it to investigate.

When a driver is stopped for suspicion of impaired driving, they will first complete a standardized field sobriety test, possibly making an arrest if it is warranted.

If an arrest is made, the suspect is taken to jail when the driver is booked and breathalyzed. From then on, the suspect is in the district attorney's hands, and the fines and fees really start to add up.

In the Shreveport area, court fees alone can cost $350, not to mention lawyer fees of about $4,500. The fees don't end after court is over either. The minimum fine for a DUI is $500 and then there's the parole fee of about $100 a month. Mandatory DUI classes cost money too.

And once all of those fees are paid, there's still more. A breathalyzer is mandatory for at least a year in all cars of drivers with a DUI conviction. Those can run up to a thousand dollars in installation costs and monthly maintenance fees.

Even after the year is up, it's still hard to save any money. DUI's stay on a driving record for 10 years, causing insurance rates to sky rocket.

Police want to remind drivers that one bad decision can cost them for years to come.


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