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Another Reason Not To Drink & Drive: The Hidden Costs Of DWI

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Sending 2013 out with a bang is on the minds of many New Year's Eve partygoers.

For some, that celebration includes alcohol, and if you drink and drive be prepared to face the consequences.

"Between the license reinstatement fees, the insurance costs that may increase, your court cost, attorneys fees, we estimate that it could be between $6,000 – $10,000," said Kelly Moore, an attorney with Groshek Law in Minneapolis.

"It is overwhelming, it's very complicated," she added.

Most people, she says, don't realize a DWI involves two separate cases.

"Aside from just the criminal side of it, there is also the implied consent side of it, which is a civil case," she said.

With the criminal case, there is a $1,000 minimum fine for a first offense and attorney fees from $2,500 to $4,000.

"If you are convicted in a criminal case, it can stay on your record for 10 years," Moore said.

Even worse, you have little time to deal with the civil part of the case.

"You're got 30 days, and if you wait and you miss those deadlines, then you're stuck with that DWI on your record and the revocation. But what a lot of people don't know is with that complied consent case, it can be on your record for the rest of your life," Moore said.

She says be prepared to pay more for insurance, an increase between $3,600 - $6,000. Add in the $700 license re-issue fee and other fines, and it continues to add up.

Word to the wise: Don't drink and drive. Who needs a $10,000 ride home?

Drunk driving is a big problem in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

One in seven Minnesotans on the road have a DWI on their record.

Some 35,000 were arrested for DWI last year, 69 percent of them had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher.

And get this: There are more than 12,000 Minnesotans with 10 DWIs or more.

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