What would getting a DWI actually cost you?

Published: Dec. 31, 2018 at 8:03 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With New Years Eve celebrations lined up for tonight, the message to not drink and drive is clear.

But what is the actual cost of a DWI?

Of course one cost is injuring yourself or others, but there is also a big price tag that comes with getting a DWI.

“It’s costly, it’s expensive,” said Mark Jetton, a Charlotte attorney who specializes in DWI cases.

“I’ve represented thousands of folks that have been charged with DWI," said Jetton.

He has worked on DWI cases for about a decade.

“The magic number is $10,000,” said Jetton. “Ithink that’s what most people hear is about $10,000."

Jetton says that number is an estimate for getting a DWI at a traffic stop. Every case is different, sometimes the cost is less, sometimes it can be more.

When you’re talking about someone who has been injured or even worse killed then you’re dealing with medical costs and a felony charge.," said Jetton.

What happens if you get stopped by police after drinking?

“If you’re deemed to be under the influence you’re not just going to get a ticket you’re going to be arrested,” said Huntersville Police Officer Odette Saglimbeni.

Then there’s bail costs and court costs. Jetton says even more significant – the rise in your insurance costs if found guilty of driving while impared.

“Your premiums will probably quadruple,” said Jetton.

After rising insurance premiums there are attorney fees, court costs and fines all of which can add up to an estimated $10,000 dollars.

Again, every case is different, but more money than pulling out a phone for a ride.

“There’s Ubers, taxis, Lyft, call friends, a DD, call us,” said Officer Saglimbeni.

Huntersville Police are sporting their Cop Cab, a half taxi, half police car, as a reminder for people that the cost of drinking and driving can be way more than just money.

“That one decision could change yours and somebody else’s life,” said Officer Saglimbeni.

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