Police stepping up patrols to monitor drunk driving for New Year's Eve

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Officers across the state are getting ready for extra patrols on New Year's Eve, and Columbia is no exception. The DWI counting period for New Year's Even begins in Columbia on Tuesday night.

Ahead of the extra patrols, ABC 17 News looked into the price tags of drunk driving. 

"Just imagine not being able to drive anymore," said a Boone County DWI offender, who only wished to be identified as Steve. "It's not only the revocation of your driver's license. It's also your freedom."

Steve told ABC 17 News he received a DWI one year ago and it has completely changed his life.

"You have to rely on rides from everybody at all times and getting to work can be hard," he said. 

Steve said he has spent $15,000 so far and is still paying off the multiple fees associated with a DWI.

A Columbia lawyer said it's more than just paying a fine and a lawyer fee. There's multiple other fines to consider. One of those fines is the cost of mandatory alcohol classes.

"The minimum cost of the class for a first offender is around $250, and if you're a multiple offender, it'll be in the thousands," said Bogdan Susan, a Columbia attorney.

Here's a list of fees a person could end up paying after receiving a DWI and the costs can vary: posting bail, attorney fees, alcohol classes, city fines, law enforcement costs, insurance increase costs and in some cases an ignition interlock device that won't allow a person to start their car until they use a Breathalyzer.

Susan said there could be even more than those.

"Lots of times there's multiple offense, especially if there's an accident involved," he said.

Steve said after the emotional and financial stress he's had to endure over the last year, he urges others to make a different decision than he did.

"It might cost 100 bucks to get back in a cab, but it's still way less expensive than getting a DWI," he said.

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