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New Years Eve is a time of merriment and excess when we celebrate the end of the year and new beginnings. Staying safe on New Year’s Eve makes for a better year to come for all. Whether it be eating too much or more likely, drinking too much, oftentimes with the merriment comes irresponsibility, which can result in injury or death due to drunk driving. Thankfully through the efforts of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alcohol related driving fatalities have decreased significantly over the years (see www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html) and new laws have been enacted that make the consequences of drunk driving much more difficult to swallow.

Staying safe on New Year’s Eve is all in the math.With the enactment of these more stringent laws and increased education on the dangers of drunk driving we have seen an increase in opportunities to do the right thing and not drink and drive. This is evident in the proliferation of public and private transportation options. In Raleigh, for instance, on any given night we now see many private taxicabs lined up on Glenwood Avenue waiting to take the tipsy partier home safely. The cost of a taxicab home can run from around a few dollars, or, if you live outside the city limits to around $40. This amount is minor compared to what being charged with Driving While Intoxicated will cost you.

If you are fortunate enough not to cause an accident and are charged with a DWI, the average cost to defend a DWI in Raleigh is around $2,600.00:

– $2,000.00 in attorney fees
– $250 for an alcohol assessment
– $100 DWI fee
– $188 Court fees
– $100 fines

If you are convicted of a DWI, your insurance premiums will increase by 400%. This could translate into approximately $2,500 a year in insurance premiums for at least the 3 years following the conviction, or around $7,500.

In comparison, if you were to spend $40 per week for one year to get home safely after a night of drinking, you would only spend around $2080.00.

It is simple, do the math. Don’t drink and drive and have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve.

Links to telephone numbers of cab companies in some North Carolina cities:

Raleigh: www.yellowpages.com/raleigh-nc/taxi-service

Charlotte: www.yellowpages.com/charlotte-nc/taxis

Winston-Salem: www.yellowpages.com/winston-salem-nc/taxis?g=Winston+Salem%2C+NC&q=Taxis

Wilmington: www.yellowpages.com/wilmington-nc/taxis?g=Wilmington%2C+NC&q=Taxis

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