Monday, December 12, 2011

Destructible DUI

When we are younger
many of us think we are Indestructible.
And as nothing can harm us,
we push our limits further & further until...
something gives way and breaks.
Tears may flow, and there may be pain,
but afterwards we mostly agree...
we wish we had stopped at some point.

Before my drunk-driving accident
I had lived my life within fairly pronounced boundaries.
Although my ‘guardrails’ were in place
I still gave myself permission to stretch them
because I never believed it could happen to me.
Isnt that the way with most of us?
We believe things are ‘fine’
and nothing we could do would ever be catastrophic,
much less injure someone
or permanently alter our future.

So what does a DUI cost financially?
Perhaps not much but some money & inconvenience
however mine was different.

Because I had injured two people,
the state of Oregon sentenced me to 50 months in prison
on two felony-assault convictions.
(you can read more of the “accident” Here)
Although I was released early for participating
in an intensive prison ‘life-change’ program
the costs still affect me today.

The Financial Breakdown for 18-Months “Inside”:

Year Event or Occurrence Type Amount
Car-Impound & Towing  Fees $800
Car-Payments (with-out ability to drive vehicle) $2400
Attorneys Fees $45000
Investigator Fee $3500
Psychological Evaluation $1500
Preliminary 4-month Diversion Alcohol Program $950
Court Fees $2500
Victim Restitution $15000
Damages to City of Portland $5200
Loss of earned income @ $70,000/year for 18 months $105000
Post-Prison Supervision Fees $420
U/A Fees $300
Remaining 3-Months of Diversion Alcohol Program $600
Community Service Fee $55
Cost of 'necessities' while in prison $540
Average fuel costs for wife to drive for visits $3120
Total Cost $186885

This does not include ‘lost time’ on my part for visits with parole officers, community support meetings, riding the bus due to drivers license suspension, or the time loved ones spent visiting me in prison or taking me places by car afterwards.

And after all this, the felonies keep me from finding regular employment, for over two years now, and thus I contribute no money to my household.

So when you tell yourself;
“it wont matter if I drive home tonight, I am fine!”
The costs are much higher than we can anticipate,
because our vision is too short-sighted
and truthfully we dont want to listen
to the wisdom of those who have gone before us.

Stop today and think:
Is there any area I will listen to the experience of someone else
and change my own behavior as a result?

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