Judgment and Consequences

Have you been drinking? How well can assess your ability to drive?

The thing about consuming alcohol is that it impairs your brain—especially your decision making faculties—starting with the first drink. And the more you drink, the more difficult it becomes to make a sound choice. That means that just when you need to make a smart decision, a decision that may affect the rest of your life, your brain is fundamentally disabled.

Counting drinks just doesn't work--there are too many factors that affect your BAC. Plus, you can be arrested for having any amount of alcohol in your system. 

That’s why a breathalyzer is an extremely helpful tool. Unlike your drinking buddy, it doesn't know you very well, it doesn't care about hurting your feelings, and it has no idea how many times you've driven home before in a similar state. The breathalyzer simply estimates how much alcohol you've consumed, coldly and accurately. You can’t argue with that.

The fact is, once you see those flashing lights in your rear view mirror, it’s over. If you’ve been drinking, you are almost certainly going to be arrested. It’s only a matter of time before they test you. Hope you have at least $13,000 to spare, because that’s how much you’ll need to dig yourself out of the mess you’ll be in—if you didn’t hurt anyone.

The High Price of Driving Under the Influence

Expenses typically associated with a DUI conviction include bail, car towing or impound costs, court costs, legal fees, DUI education programs, higher insurance premiums, probation fees, drug and alcohol assessment and counseling, license reinstatement fees, and loss of work income. And that’s the short list.

In addition, many states now require DUI offenders to install pricey ignition interlock devices in their cars. Interlock devices connect to a car's ignition and monitor drivers’ BAC levels. If alcohol is detected, the car will not start and may even trigger security alarms. Some states also require DUI offenders to wear ankle bracelets that measure BAC – at the offenders’ expense. For this reason, many individuals who have interlock systems or are forced to wear bracelets also purchase a BACtrack breathalyzer—in order to make sure they are at 0.00% BAC before they test themselves.

Average Costs of a DUI Arrest and Conviction

Below is a list of typical expenses associated with first-time DUI offenses, and average costs and penalties. The fees and fines can be significantly higher for repeat DUI offenders, drunk drivers with extreme BAC levels, or drivers who are charged with any number of "aggravating" factors, such as an auto accident in which property damage or injuries to human life occurred.





Towing and Impound


Higher Insurance Premiums


Defense Attorney


Court Fines


Alcohol Treatment/Education


Licensing Fees


Jail Fee


Jail Time




Chemical Testing Fee


Probation Supervision


Ignition Interlock Device


License Reinstatement


Community Service Supervision Fee


Alternate Transportation




Note: These fees do not include hospital care for a person or persons who may have been injured, emotional recovery costs, damaged job and career prospects, or lawsuit awards resulting from a death, which would likely be in the millions of dollars.

Protect Yourself

By monitoring your alcohol consumption with a BACtrack breathalyzer and making sure you are at 0.00% BAC before you get in your car, you can spare yourself from rigorous personal and financial upheavals and safeguard your good name.

Updated January 2013 by BACtrack.com
© 2013 BACtrack