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'Tis the season . . . for DUIs

Too much holiday cheer can mean thousands in fines and fees, doubled insurance rates and an interlock device in your vehicle.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 18, 2012 5:52PM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.

 

CarInsurance.com logoOne driver, two DUI arrests in the same night, reports delmarvaNow.com.

 

Image: Sobriety Test © Doug Menuez, Photodisc, Getty ImagesHis-and-hers DUI arrests, hours apart, says 10News.com.

 

Two DUI arrests in a single traffic stop, posts MiddletownPatch.

 

Your local law enforcement officers are certainly feeling the holiday spirit. Do a quick search for something like "holiday DUI crackdown" and you'll probably turn up a precise list of roadblocks in your neighborhood right up through Jan. 1.

 

And if you manage to get snagged, an ever-harsher array of penalties awaits.

 

Seventeen states now require that all motorists convicted of impaired driving -- including first-timers -- install an ignition interlock device, and on Dec. 11 the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states follow their example.

 

An ignition interlock means that even a trace of alcohol on your breath will keep you from driving. It also means that a DUI conviction becomes even more expensive.

 

You can expect your car insurance rates to double, at minimum, for however long your state keeps the conviction on your record. You can expect fines and fees to total several thousand dollars. And now -- in states with an interlock requirement, at least -- you can add the cost of installing and renting an ignition interlock. That'll be anywhere from $700 to $1,300 a year.

All of that assumes that you didn't hit anything, or hurt anyone, or have a child in the car, or blow well over the 0.08% limit, because then you'd really be in trouble. "Super drunk" laws can add jail time, a felony record and license suspensions so long you'll have forgotten how to drive by the time you're allowed back behind the wheel. 

 

Washington and Colorado drivers, pot counts, too.

 

Perhaps you need more convincing. Picture your perp walk in a Teletubby outfit, as one hockey hopeful was forced to do, according to Fox Sports.

 

Or consider that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says about a third of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Among the 360 fatal accidents a year caused by drivers who enter highways going the wrong way, more than 60% are caused by drunks, the NTSB says.

 

More from CarInsurance.com and MSN Money:

 

2Comments
Dec 20, 2012 12:21PM
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I am fine w/ getting drunks off the road!!! When are the stricter laws going to enforced for these texters, that in my opinion are 10 times more dangerous that a person who has had a beer or two!!!
Dec 20, 2012 11:23AM
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Not sure you can really be TOO drunk to drive
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