I had an interesting conversation with my Japanese friend while she was visiting a few years ago. We were driving through an area laden with bars and night life. Which can be a fun area if drinking is what you’re there for.
But that wasn’t what we were there for, and it got us talking about drunk driving. I related the lives I’ve known that have been lost to the horrible mistakes of both themselves and others while under the influence and behind the wheel. I lamented the lack of consequences for those who do drink and drive.
She looked shocked. “It is not like that in Japan. If I did that, my father would lose his job.”
Hell, yes, Japan.
Costs of Drunk Driving
Our system is way too lenient. But that doesn’t mean there are no consequences. Here’s some of what you face if you do drive drunk:
- A night in jail.
- Bail money.
- A fine. And a big one. They get bigger the more offenses you have, but the first one is nothing to laugh at.
- Possibly extra time in jail. Upwards of six months.
- A misdemeanor on your record.
- Might have to attend AA.
Honestly, a DUI with its accompanying consequences would be good news. The fact that the cops caught you means that they got your drunk butt off the street, preventing you from killing someone else. Or yourself.
Free Rides Home When You’re Drunk
Believe it or not, there are quite a few ways to get a free ride home when you’re drunk–especially on major holidays. Here are some of the best:
- Uber– If you haven’t tried it yet, new users can get up to $10 towards a free ride by signing up here. (Max credit depends on location.)
- Lyft– New users can get up to $10 towards a free ride by signing up here. (Max credit depends on location.)
- Designated Driver– Oldest trick in the book. Establish a responsible one before you leave!
Cheap and Frugal Alternatives to Driving Drunk
Maybe you can’t get a free ride home, but you can use one of these options instead. Every single one of them is a heck of a lot cheaper than a DUI:
- Public Tranport– This one is best if you plan to use it before you leave. On New Year’s and other holidays, cities usually leave their public transport open much later than usual so you won’t have to drive at all.
- Sober Rides– AAA has created a compilation of programs across the country that offer DD services. They do charge a fee, but most of them not only drive you home, but also send a second driver out to get your car home, too. Check them out here.
- Tell Siri you’re drunk. She’ll immediately offer to call a cab for you.
Cheaper Than a Funeral
Even if you pay for a super long, super overpriced taxi fare and get your car towed, the costs will still be less than that of the average funeral: $7,000. And that’s if only one person dies at your hands, not including additional damages awarded in the sure-to-happen law suit and the deep, painful remorse you’ll experience for the rest of your life.
It’s okay to have fun–as long as you’re responsible.
I hope everyone has fun time tonight–truly!
But I hope even more that you’ll do so responsibly.