Oregon Magazine

Decanting with Delkin
Consider the Costs of
Driving When Drunk

(Third in a series authored by Ormag Editor Fred Delkin after his arrest and conviction on DUII charges in May)
September, 2011 -- This year Oregon lawmakers drastically increased the penalties for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  We are personally experiencing the effects of this legislation. The physical results of impaired driving can extend to fatality as anyone can see when monitoring the evening news on your television.  This alone should be convincing evidence to avoid tippling before piloting.  However, we urge our readers to consider the fiscal as well as physical factors involved in the increased surveillance of our driving.  
Yes, there is an increased fine for being apprehended when imbibing beyond the legal limit.  That is only the beginning of your costs, which include the towing, impoundment and release of your vehicle...the fees you pay for attending state/county required lectures...a required 'screening fee' of $150 by the Alcohol & Drug Evaluation Services of your municipality...an estimated cost of $700 paid to a state-certified provider of educational services as a requirement for DUII offenders...and then one can factor in the $15/month for a year of "enhanced bench probation" in my case paid to Multnomah county...the cost of your time devoted to 25 hours of required 'community service'...and of course, alternative transport costs for going to & from your certified provider's location...then there's your option of fees paid to an attorney to represent your interests to the authorities, which can go over two grand.  
And, you can expect a personal car insurance upgrade.
 So, even if you avoid any physical damage from a DUII incident, your fiscal penalties can go as high as $1,000+, sans any attorney's compensation, or an insurance uptick....certainly enough to pose that age-old question: "was it worth it?"
We've answered that query with a resounding No!
Remember, to reach the stage where you could 'blow' a ...08 and qualify for a DUII, a man consumes 4 drinks (beers, glasses of wine or shots of hard liquor), a woman only 3...and it takes up to 6 hours for a body to cleanse such a reading.
If you value yours and others' lives (and your fiscal status), monitor your alcohol consumption closely if you intend to drive afterward.   A driver's license is a tested privilege extended by your state, which can also snatch it away for a year should you get ticketed for alcohol or drug impairment, and that's now true even on a first offense.

© 2011 Fred Delkin