Job, future can be affected by DUI

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DUIs cost big bucks, from attorney's fees to probation costs.

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Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Angela Craig talks to a motorist at a DUI checkpoint in North Augusta.   Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Aiken County sheriff's Sgt. Angela Craig talks to a motorist at a DUI checkpoint in North Augusta.

The intangible cost can have a long-term impact, too, experts say.

That holds especially true in an area such as Augusta, where there are hundreds of service personnel and medical professionals on the roads. DUI convictions threaten a medical student's career. Army officers can lose their commission, and soldiers can be barred from re-enlistment.

There are other problems.

"Marriages are broken up, careers are lost. Quite frankly, I know of suicides that occur incidental to DUI," said Augusta lawyer Elmer Young.

The financial cost of a DUI starts the minute the handcuffs click around a driver's wrist. The car will be towed and accumulate storage fees until it's recovered by the owner.

Bond is next, followed by a $150 fee to apply for an administrative license court hearing.

That's before you step into court.

What you pay an attorney varies, but count on at least $1,500. An attorney who will take the case to trial and investigate the evidence can cost $25,000.

"There's a lot of time and effort," said Young, who declined to disclose his exact fees.

Fines for a misdemeanor DUI are at least $1,000, with other court fees boosting that figure up to $1,600.

Probation costs follow at $39 a month, for the minimum year of probation required by Georgia law, costing about $468. All told, the initial financial impact of a DUI is easily $5,000, Richmond County Solicitor General Charles Evans said.

"It's very inconsiderate," Evans said about a DUI arrest. "It's so easy to find somebody to take you home."

After your license is reinstated (that's an additional $270), auto insurance will consider you a high-risk driver, meaning an increase of from $3,600 to $6,600 over three years. If you hurt someone or damage property as a consequence of your DUI, a civil suit could be forthcoming.

Jobs -- current and future -- are often affected. A DUI cannot be removed from a criminal record in Georgia, and it's the only motor vehicle offense that shows up in the National Crime Information Center, maintained by the FBI, Evans said.

Losing a license and attending probation meetings can hurt the ability to get to work. Doctors, nurses and teachers are among the professionals who can be fired for an arrest involving "moral turpitude."

There are lesser-known consequences. Travel to some countries, including Canada, isn't allowed, and rental car companies might not lease to drivers with DUI convictions.

Security clearances are stricken, bartenders' alcohol license are suspended and a doctor's DEA permit to dispense anesthesia and hydrocodone can be revoked.

"Why ruin your life and your ability to support your family?" Evans said.

Comments (12) Add comment
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peace4784
117
Points
peace4784 12/20/10 - 06:18 am
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This article is more proof
Unpublished

This article is more proof that we as a people are insane. The maddening effects of alcohol is well documented. Yet, the manufacture and distribution of alcohol is sanctioned by the government and happily endorsed by the general public. Manufacturers are no different from opium or cocaine producers. Alcohol distributers and retailers are no different from drug dealers. Alcohol consumers are no different from heroin, meth , or marijuana users. As far as the damaged caused to human lives alcohol is in the same league as crack, meth, cocaine, pot, heroin, LSD etc...There is no such thing as using a mind altering susbstance in a responsible manner. That is just marketing horse poop motivated by greed. The more you drink the less responsible you become so that you can buy and drink more. The only responsible alcohol user is the person who abstains from alcohol. Once alcohol enters your body you become less in control and less responsible with each drink. Therefore, to write an article preaching about the negative effects of alcohol use is monday morning quarterbacking and the pot calling the kettle black. Bottom line is that alcohol should have never been legalized or sanctoned by the Constitution. It just shows that Americans are spiritually and morally weak when it comes to drug abuse, especially alcohol. Anyone who profits off of alcohol or the effects of alcohol are in a perpetual state of ethical guilt. K. Palmer

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 12/20/10 - 08:41 am
0
0
LOL@peace.... "It just shows

LOL@peace.... "It just shows that Americans are spiritually and morally weak when it comes to drug abuse, especially alcohol".......just us stupid Americans? Really?...thanks for the laugh today peace...your a hoot!

dougk
3
Points
dougk 12/20/10 - 09:02 am
0
0
Wow....still at least one
Unpublished

Wow....still at least one member of the Temperance Movement around today.

bclicious
718
Points
bclicious 12/20/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
Listen, I drink alcohol, and

Listen, I drink alcohol, and I also agree that alcohol can be a problem. All of that however, depends on the individual person. I know that it is kind of outside of the context of the article, but with all the mention of governments lacking funds, why don't we just raise taxes on liquor, beer, and wine?

I'm sure it would help, and I don't mind paying a little more at the register.

seenitB4
87091
Points
seenitB4 12/20/10 - 10:30 am
0
0
Yeh ...Let's go around & jerk

Yeh ...Let's go around & jerk those cigs & martinis out of their hands---watch it though cause ya might jerk my martini----haha
You can abuse anything---some do & some don't..

seenitB4
87091
Points
seenitB4 12/20/10 - 10:31 am
0
0
once is enough...

once is enough...

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 12/20/10 - 11:54 am
0
0
What's insane is that for

What's insane is that for crimes like robbery, aggravated assault, battery, burglary, and a few others, you can get straight probation and the crime can come off your record via first offender treatment. Oh but not DUI!

So, in essence, we treat someone who had one too many to drive worse than we treat someone who broke into another home. Insane.

sjgraci
2
Points
sjgraci 12/20/10 - 04:28 pm
0
0
The biggest mistake I see

The biggest mistake I see people make when they are pulled over by the police is submitting to a field sobriety test - even if they only had one or two drinks. Don't do the dance! It is not mandatory but the cops will try every trick in the book to make you do it. At that point, they already think you are drunk and you can not get a fair and objective test. It is designed to make you look bad in front of a jury.

Instead, politely refuse and if you know you are NOT DUI demand a blood alcohol test. You may be released at that point or you will be arrested but that is part of the game. Do not ever blow into one of the devices a cop uses at the scene. Again, you are not legally compelled to do so and it puts you in further legal trouble.

The breathalyzer at the station is the only thing you should blow into if you know you are not intoxicated. If you are drunk - or not - and you refuse you are likely going to lose your license. Demanding an independent blood alcohol test is also something to consider. Get an attorney.

It is not illegal in this country to have a couple of drinks and drive. It is illegal to drive drunk. Pace yourself. One beer an hour or three in two hours is not going to be DUI for most men. Ladies know your limits. Two drinks for some of you in one hour may put you dangerously close to .08.

There was and is a big problem with DUI in this country. You can thank MADD for all the good and bad legislation that has come of it. It is still their desire to arrest anyone that consumes even one drink and drives after. They have succeeded in making the public aware and reducing serious DUI problems. But what it also has become, is a money making racket for the government, insurance industry, and attorneys.

Good people and citizens of this country are having their lives ruined over a few drinks. Know your rights! Don't EVER do the dance. And, don't EVER submit to a search of your property without a warrant. And most importantly, Don't EVER Drive Drunk! The taxi service in this town has become too good to not use it, walk to one of the numerous hotels, or stay over at a friends on their couch. The alternatives are far cheaper than a DUI.

Driving Drunk Is Stupid.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 12/20/10 - 05:24 pm
0
0
It's all about money--for the

It's all about money--for the local government and the private "probation" agencies. Alcoholism is a social problem that needs to be addressed when the children are still in high school. Many people drink and drive; that, in itself, is the worst decision a person can make, but then, again, when drinking, a person isn't making the best decision in the world. If the government wants to criminalize drinking, then get the private agencies out of the loop because they are part of the problem when it comes to revocation of probation because they will revoke merely for lack of a monthly payment. This selective revocation also tips the scale in disfavor of those who can least afford to pay. As far as being poor and being an alcoholic, where is the treatment they talk so much about? It isn't available if one has no funds to pay. Yes, this is one of the kinds of treatment that should be based on ability to pay if we are to combat alcoholism at all. No, I'm not one who indulges in drinking alcohol or uses illicit drugs, but I see how no one benefits under the current legal situation. Liquor ads that say "drink responsibly" mean nothing if a person is addicted to alcohol--and MANY families are affected by alcoholism. Another thing about these DUI laws, as we have all observed, is that the wealthier individuals get a pass while those in a lower class status are sent to jail and stuck with the fines noted in the article. DUI laws are unequal when it comes to paying the price and being stigmatized because of the record maintained by the government.

tombee
35
Points
tombee 12/20/10 - 06:13 pm
0
0
Peace4784 is absolutely

Peace4784 is absolutely correct. This article makes it sound like the law is being too tough on this petty little crime. This "petty little crime" puts bright teenagers in wheelchairs the rest of their lives and kills others -- all because we have to have our drinks. The fact is that many drive drunk, many drive without a license, sometimes for the 10th, 11th, 15th time. All the law does is lock them up for a bit and let them right back out on the street to cripple someone else. Wait til it is you or your family who are the ones in the other vehicle.

peace4784
117
Points
peace4784 12/20/10 - 07:10 pm
0
0
My point is this, how can we
Unpublished

My point is this, how can we claim to be the the greatest country on earth or the land of the free and home of the brave? The U.S. is a country enslaved to alcohol. So much so we have protected our addiction to alcohol with a Constitutional amendment. How are we brave when we as a nation do not have the courage to confront our pathetic addiction to alcohol consumption? We have no moral authority to lecture another country about how they treat their citizens when this country allows poison to be dispensed to it's citizens for profit. The U.S. is literally drunk with power. Alcohol manufacturers used to be called bootleggers before the political scoundrels legislated them respectability. How can there be a war on drugs when the number one killer drug is protected by the government? Also, conservatives and republicans have just as much blood on their hands as liberals and democrats. They are both morally and ethically weak in the presence of alcohol. Rationalization and justification will not do. Why continue to harass and punish the consumer of alcohol and not shut down the producer of alcohol?

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 12/20/10 - 07:14 pm
0
0
a round of 'victory gin'

a round of 'victory gin' anyone?

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 12/20/10 - 07:44 pm
0
0
peace - In a perfect world,

peace -

In a perfect world, yes, there would be no alcohol. We don't live in a perfect world. The problem we have is that alcohol is illegal for people under 21. I know that sounds crazy, but having a legal drinking age actually INCREASES alcoholism.

Our rate of alcoholism and binge drinking is higher than countries with no legal drinking age or a lower legal age.

The solution is for parents to be able to teach their children about alcohol and let them drink before they're 21. (which is actually legal in Georgia). I'm not saying get your 12 year old plastered, but let them have a (small, very small) drink and talk to them about abuse.

We don't need MORE gov't - we actually need less government in this case.

tuffenuf4u
0
Points
tuffenuf4u 12/20/10 - 09:24 pm
0
0
realitycheck09 posted: "The

realitycheck09 posted: "The solution is for parents to be able to teach their children about alcohol and let them drink before they're 21" So in essence what you are saying is that is also okay for parent's to supervise their child's first sexual experience. The same principle applies, doesn't ot?

peace4784
117
Points
peace4784 12/21/10 - 01:00 am
0
0
The world does not have to be
Unpublished

The world does not have to be perfect for an individual to realize they do not need to consume alcohol. Alcohol is a mode to escape in order to cope with reality. We need to treat alcohol the way we treat the taliban and Al Quaeda, with a surge of special forces and predator drones seeking out and destroying the source. Like George Bush said, we need a coalition of the willing. The problem is there are not enough who are willing to do the heavy lifting necessary to defeat alcohol. To many moral weaklings and alcohol apologists in this country. So sad.

barnel
0
Points
barnel 12/22/10 - 05:14 pm
0
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the link 89 consequences of a

the link 89 consequences of a DUI are pretty powerfull, but theres one more - it can permanently affect relationships

i went through this many, many years ago, and I had some very harsh things said to me by a few friends at a time when I was going through something really awfull. I never asked them for help or sympathy, but i wouldnt have minded a little privacy. Just because they read it in the paper didnt mean they had to say anything

my record's been clean ever since, but there have been a few situations over the years where i could have given real needed help to them at little cost to myself, (such as job leads) but didnt because I remembered their unkind words. It's a hardness I didnt have before

what i learned from DUI is that there's no obligation to forgive, and that's a 2 way street

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