Celebrate NYE responsibly: A DUI charge could cost you thousands of dollars

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- New Year's Eve weekend is one of the most dangerous times to be out on the roads. Local attorneys want to warn you that drinking and driving could cost you much more than your license.

It can cost anywhere between $4,000 to $15,000 for a first time DUI charge -- far more than the cost of a cab ride.

The added fees include getting your license reinstated, the cost of hiring an attorney and the possible hike in insurance fees.

"There are court fees everywhere you turn with a DUI. Fines are high. If you have to get an ignition interlock device in your car, that's expensive," said Brian Leininger, a metro attorney.

He said on top of the fines, you could also be jeopardizing your career.

"Having a conviction on your record is a big deal when you're looking for a promotion or new job," Leininger said.

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have helped lower the number of drunk drivers, but it's still a serious problem.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes in 2017. That's an average of one death every 48 minutes.

So with New Year's Eve right around the corner, Leininger said his top advice is to avoid the temptation and take away any access to a car.

"I would tell you what I tell my own kids: Make it impossible for you to drive that night," Leininger said.

The good news, many services around Kansas City will offer free rides on New Year's Eve to make sure everyone gets home safely. Ride KC is offering free bus rides in Kansas City, Johnson County, Wyandotte County and Independence that night, beginning at 4 p.m.

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