Local News

The Cost of a DUI

SPOKANE, Wash. - New Years Eve is a holiday associated with parties, big events and drinking. Law enforcement are all about you having fun; just don't take your celebrating to the wheel.

“You can't help but feel for the victim and knowing it could have been prevented by someone saying 'I'm not going to drive tonight,'” said Spokane Police Officer Ben Maplethorpe.

Maplethorpe is talking about the worst kind of call to respond to; an alcohol-related crash.

“The worst in when there is children involved,” he added.

Spokane Police will have more officers patrolling the streets to make sure that doesn't happen. Officer Maplethorpe says if you do get caught drinking and driving, you are going to jail.

He explained, “we are going to impound your car-that's a mandatory state law. You are going to pay fines, you're going to have to hire a lawyer. I've heard about $10,000 in legal fees and what it's going to cost you if you get arrested for DUI.”

KXLY4 spoke with a DUI attorney in Spokane to find out what it would really cost.

Dominic Bartoletta says before you even get to his office, you are looking at close to $1,000.

Bartoletta said, “the right to having an attorney at the earliest possible time is important. The evidence of that crime is fleeting. It's gone. The next day you are not going to be able to go out and collect evidence to exonerate yourself.”

DUI-associated costs rack up fast.

-For a DUI attorney in Spokane, costs range from $4,000 to $8,000

-If convicted of a DUI offense, fees range from $900 to $5,000

-For one year of probation for a DUI offense, $480

-Ignition Lock for your vehicle (1 year) will cost $100 a month, or $1,200 total

-According to Washington's Mothers Against Drunk Driving, car insurance rates go up 2.5 times the amount of the conviction fee

-Some insurance plans cover alcohol treatment or alcohol information school. If it is not covered, fees start at $1,000.

Bartoletta says the fees are not what keeps his clients up at night, though.

“They are worried sick about losing their job and for good reason because a lot of the companies, they are insured by larger carriers. A person might have a sales job and may be driving their own car but because their employers insurer won't or can't cover them, they are going to lose their job.”

If you are attending First Night, the Spokane Transit Authority is offering free shuttles until 1am. For more information pick-up locations, call 509-328-RIDE.

UBER and LYFT are two smart phone applications that can pair you with a driver in your area. They are free to download.

For Taxi Service in Spokane:

Advanced Transportation Taxi and Shuttle Service - 509-483-4000.

City Cab – 509-455-3333

Felix's Taxi – 509-995-3905

Young Taxi Service – 509-218-1354

Chris's Taxi Service – 509-701-1271

Bull Dog Taxi - 509-724-3025


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