DUI costs drain wallets - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

DUI costs drain wallets

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - According to the Century Council which fights drunk driving and underage drinking, more than 11,000 Americans lost their lives in drunk driving crashes last year.

Dougherty County police will be out New Years Eve keeping drunk drivers off the streets.

"Patrols will be out looking for people who have been drinking so they can get them off the road before they kill someone,"said Lt. Tom Jackson with the Dougherty County Police Department.

People arrested for DUI can expect fines and fees to add up to $10,000 or more.

"The ultimate cost is life and ending up in prison," Lt. Jackson said. "It's something you don't want to be for celebrating a new year."

 Jackson says drunk drivers automatically spend a night in jail. Bail can cost up to $2500, coupled with towing, insurance premiums that stay on record for several years,  and legal fees when people fight charges. Convicted drivers must pay for treatment program.

 That's where DUI and Defensive Driving School Owner Debra Storm comes in. She offers a 20 hour DUI class twice a month for people who want to drive again. That's when they see time is money.

"That's time away from our family, work, and other activities that they would otherwise be doing," Storm said.

Once drivers complete the state-certified program they have to pay a hefty fee ranging from 2$200 to $400 to receive their license.

"It's a comprehensive, excellent program," Storm added. "It has made a difference to a lot of people."

A difference that will keep drunk drivers off the street. 

Dougherty County Police say people don't have to sacrifice having a good time New Years Even.

They say party hosts should make sure they have plenty of food so no one drinks on an empty stomach and to have a taxi number available for people who shouldn't drive.

Each year in Georgia, law enforcers make more than 200,000 thousand DUI arrests.

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