I want to start this article by saying that I am in no way trying to Undermind the dangers of drunk driving. It’s dangerous, it’s stupid, don’t do it. When someone drives drunk, they put others and themselves at risk unnecessarily.

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With that said, I was getting my oil changed this week in a location that does lots of different kinds of work on vehicles. There were several folks waiting when I arrived and being in a small space you couldn’t help but overhear what everyone’s having done to their cars.  

There was a fellow there who, I’m assuming, had gotten a different car to drive and because of a driving under the influence arrest, he was having to have the ignition interlock system removed from one vehicle and put into another. 

Photo Credit: amazon.com
Photo Credit: amazon.com
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To have this done cost him well over $200 which is a lot of money, especially right after Christmas, plus the expense of getting the other vehicle.  

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Hearing that got me thinking about the costs of having a driving under the influence conviction on your record in Minnesota.  

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash
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The ignition interlock system is required on a vehicle of someone whose blood alcohol level is 0.16 or higher in their first offense. The system ranges in cost from around $90-$150 to install, and there can be additional costs depending on how difficult the device is to connect to your car.  

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Then there’s the monthly fee that is due which is around $150 per month. Of course, you also have to have the restricted driver's license which only allows you to drive for certain reasons. And there’s also the “whiskey plate” that those who are convicted of driving drunk must put on their cars. They are plain white with blue or black writing on them, and they’ll start with a W. The “whiskey plate” is a $52 hit to your wallet.  

Photo Credit: dps.mn.gov
Photo Credit: dps.mn.gov
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Of course there are also court costs, attorneys fees and likely other charges that will impact you financially. And depending on what job you have, that could be affected as well.

The costs are steep for sure, but not nearly as expensive as injuring someone or taking their life. The cost of an Uber, Lyft, or taxi is obviously much cheaper than having to go through the steps that have been listed above.  

As I said before, driving drunk is stupid and dangerous, but it’s also expensive if you’re caught. Hopefully this reminder will be a sober one for you and the next time you’re faced with the choice to drive after drinking, you won’t.  

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