First DUI Can Cost North Dakota Motorists $10K

December 9, 2009

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation says a driver’s first drunken-driving offense can cost up to $10,000.

The agency is starting a new campaign against drinking and driving, and the current effort emphasizes how much a drunken driving charge can hit someone in the wallet.

It says a DUI can cost a driver $6,600 in higher insurance rates and $2,500 in attorney and court fees. Then there’s a $250 minimum fine, a $300 alcohol evaluation, money for towing charges, and a victim impact fee.

Former Highway Patrol commander Mark Nelson is director of the Transportation Department’s safety division. Nelson says North Dakotans may not realize how expensive it is to get a drunken-driving citation.

Nelson says the biggest reason not to drink and drive is to avoid traffic injuries and deaths. But he says the cost information may resonate with some people when other arguments don’t.

Highway Patrol commander Col. James Prochniak says law enforcement agencies across the state will be stepping up their drunken driving enforcement from Dec. 18 through Jan. 3.

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