The Iowa State Patrol is reminding Iowans, on this St. Patrick’s Day, that a drunk driving conviction can cost them a lot of "green." More importantly, Sergeant Randy Kunert (koo’-nurt) says an impaired driver may cause an accident resulting in serious injury or death.
The State Alcoholic Beverage Division has calculated what a first offense OWI conviction in Iowa can cost the average motorist. "They included things like having your vehicle towed, reinstating your driving privileges and of course the penalty for OWI," Kunert says, "and they came up with an amount of just under six thousand dollars." The OWI penalty fee alone is $1,250. Attorney fees are estimated at $2,000.
"People that choose to drink need to make sure that they’re responsible for their own actions," Kunert said. "If you’re not sure whether or not you’ve had too much to drink, err on the side of caution and use a designated driver or call a taxi cab." On average, 20,000 Iowans are arrested for OWI every year. In 2006, 100 Iowans died in crashes involving drunk or drugged drivers.