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Counting the cost: Is drinking and driving worth it?

Alaska's Department of Motor Vehicles makes a bold statement: "For the cost of a first-time DUI, you could ride halfway around the world (12,133 miles) in a taxicab." If you like to have a few drinks with friends during a night on the town, you may want to consider the cost of a Driving Under the Influence charge before driving the party home. 

First, Alaska's DMV suggests alternatives to getting behind the wheel drunk. A free option is a popular one: assign a designated driver. Whether that is a friend you are having dinner with or a family member who agrees to pick you up at a specific time, having a sober driver on standby is always a good idea.

If you prefer taking advantage of chauffeur services, a limousine rents for approximately $150 per hour. Also, one of the easiest and most affordable options is catching a cab, an alternative that costs just $2 per mile. 

When adding up the jail time, court fines, sentencing costs and other obligations, the DMV figures a first DUI totals a little over $24,200, effectively supporting the assertion that you could take a cab "halfway around the world" for the same amount. 

Additional expenses to consider include the cost of an SR-22, the certificate a judge may require you to carry to show you are financially responsible for insurance coverage on your vehicle. In addition, if the court suspends your license, you may need to pay a fee to reinstate it when the suspension ends. Court proceedings and DMV administrative formalities tag on additional costs, and these are just the tangible expenses.

The DMV reminds drivers that embarrassment, property loss and missed job opportunities are some of the intangibles. If a drunk driving accident causes loss of life, no amount is sufficient as an estimated cost. Your life and the lives of others on Alaska's highways are priceless. 

This information is meant solely to educate regarding drunk driving and does not intend to offer legal advice. 


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