The holiday season is about celebrating with friends and family, and for many people these celebrations would not be complete without an abundance of alcohol. This does not pose an issue until you decide to celebrate and then get behind the wheel of your vehicle. While many Americans have seen one or more of the numerous public service announcements that air during this time about the costs involved in drinking and driving, there are several other costs that most people do not consider. These are costs that need to be factored in prior to making a decision to get behind the wheel after you have consumed any type of alcohol.
Each year, approximately 1,200 people die in alcohol related traffic accidents, and more than 25,000 people are injured. Would you be able to live with yourself if you knew that you were the cause of someone else's death or disabling injury. While some people are able to handle the trauma, as well as the associated guilt, others require mental health, or psychological services to be able to move forward.
The cost of psychotherapy, or talked bases services vary based on where you live, as well as the type of professional you are seeing. While the average fee for a 45 - 55 minute session can run you between $80 - $120 per session, if you live in a city such as New York, those services can average between $200 - $300.
The number of sessions, as well as the frequency of your sessions will vary based on your needs, as well as the recommendations of your provider. If you have health insurance, your plan may, or may not carry a mental health rider as a part of your coverage. But even if you have mental health coverage, depending on your plan. you may still be responsible for meeting your deductible, and for a co-pay for each visit.
If you are required to maintain a professional license in order to practice your career, your career may be in jeopardy if you are convicted of a DWI. This is because a conviction can affect your ability to obtain, renew, or even maintain your existing license.
If you fail to report your conviction to your licensing agency you could be facing additional penalties, fines, and still face losing your license. If you think that no one will find out, think again. With the networking of computer databases, there is always a chance that it will be reported directly to your licensing agency.
Although you may have considered what a DWI conviction will do to your auto insurance rates, you may not know that it can have an effect on your life insurance rates. This is because insurance coverage is all about a company taking a risk that it will not have to pay out your policy. The higher the risk you pose, the higher your premium, or the higher the chances are you will be declined.
A DWI conviction poses a high risk factor for insurance companies. They may use this in their calculations as to whether or not you will be able to qualify life insurance in the next five to ten years. Even if you qualify, you may be required to pay higher rates than you would if you did not have a conviction.
Because of your conviction, and prior to the company making a final decision to insure you, you will probably have to submit to a physical exam. This exam is done in order for the company to look at certain blood and urine levels to see if you have an ongoing problem with alcohol. These levels may also indicate that you are at a higher risk of other health related problems such as:
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Problems
- High Blood Pressure and more
If your levels are found to be outside of a normal range, you may even be denied coverage.
None of these costs are worth the price just for a few hours of enjoyment. If you choose to drink during this holiday season, as well as any other time of the year, do not drive. This will help protect your wallet, as well as your life. If you do get into this hairy situation, however, reach out to an attorney like Hornthal Riley Ellis & Maland LLP.