'Tis the season to be jolly, but, unfortunately, it's also the time when too many people are hitting the road while under the influence of alcohol - and risk facing Colorado's mounting consequences.

Obviously, the greatest consequence of drinking and driving is taking the life of some innocent person - or perhaps your own.

Then there are things offenders must deal with like ignition interlock devices, weekly alcohol and drug education and treatment classes, plus a possible revoked or suspended drivers license. For some, it could mean losing their job.

But, the financial cost is something that many people don't realize is huge, and it has just gone up by about 30%.

According to No Dui Colorado, the average cost of a first time DUI offense in Colorado is $13,530. Not many people I know happen to have an extra $13,000 just laying around waiting to be used on DUI expenses.

Here's a look at some of the larger costs involved with getting a DUI.

  • Detox/Jail.....$303
  • Defense Attorney....$3650 (average)
  • Alcohol/Drug Treatment and Education....$1000
  • Probation Supervision Fee........$900
  • Ignition Interlock....$2172
  • Auto Insurance Increase.......$3600

There are fees for various other things and it all adds up to a whopping financial burden for the DUI offender. Combined with all of the other consequences of getting a DUI, it clearly is not worth the risk.

We can expect law enforcement will be on the look out for drunk drivers over the  New Year's weekend, so the chances of getting caught are pretty high. Can you afford it?

We hope you have a fun weekend celebration as you ring in the new year. But, if you are going to be drinking, make advance arrangements to have a designated driver or taxi service get you home safely. Please don't endanger  your life, the lives of others, or risk facing the consequences of driving under the influence.

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