The real costs of drunk driving

Drunk driving isn't just dangerous, it can cost you big bucks

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This Memorial Day weekend you’ll see a lot more police officers on the roads. They’re looking to stop drunk drivers from hurting themselves or other drivers. If you get arrested, it’ll cost you, big time.

“First offense you could be talking several thousand dollars easily for legal fees,” said Attorney Ryan Alekman, of Alekman & DiTusa Law Firm. 

That’s just for a lawyer. There’s also court costs, probation fees, the $500 it costs to reinstate your license, and you’ll have to foot the bill for safe driving classes. Alekman estimates, for first time offenders, that could cost around $6,000. Not to mention, the surcharges on your insurance, if they don’t drop you.

If you get in an accident, it’s much worse.  In 2013, 146 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the U.S. over Memorial Day weekend.

22News spoke with a police officer to see what you should do if you’re behind the wheel and you see someone driving erratically.

“Don’t try to pass them. Don’t try to overtake them. Don’t get along side of them or do anything like that because if the person is impaired, they might crash into you and it’s not worth you getting hurt,” Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk told 22News.

What you should do is call 9-1-1 with the driver’s license plate. That one call might save someone from getting into a deadly accident.

Throughout western Massachusetts, local police departments will be increasing patrols.  State police will have sobriety check points set up in different cities and towns.

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