Montana Department of Transportation

6 Reasons You Don't Want a DUI

If you've been drinking call a friend, call a cab, designate a sober driver. Just don't get behind the wheel. Officers are on the road in force, and they will stop you and arrest you.

cash on table

1. Montana DUI fines just doubled

Ouch. The Montana Legislature passed stricter penalties for DUI — $600 to $1,000 for a first offense, $1,200 to $2,000 for a second offense and $2,500 to $5,000 for a third offense. And if you happen to have a passenger under 16 in the vehicle your fine doubles again.

hand cuffs on wrists

2. How Embarrassing

It starts with flashing lights in the rear view. You pull over and try to look sober, but you're not fooling anyone. Next thing you know, right in front of your friends, you're blowing a Breathalyzer, getting handcuffed, being read your rights and taken away in the back of a patrol car. Trust us, the whole time you'll be wishing you hadn't gotten behind the wheel.

Person sitting in jail cell

3. Your room for the evening

There are lots of places you could flop for the evening and get a great night's sleep. Jail isn't one of them. You'll be photographed, fingerprinted and put in a cell with people you'd rather not be having a pajama party with. Your very long night just got much, much longer.

Montana license paper with a suspended stamp on it

4. There goes your license

If convicted of DUI, you will lose your driver's license for a minimum of six months. Imagine what that will be like. Having to constantly beg rides off family and friends just to get to school, work or the store, all because you didn't plan for a ride one night?

money going down drain

5. Goodbye savings ... and then some

Up to $10,000 is a common price to pay for DUI in Montana. First there are fines and court fees. Beyond that, there's the attorney, mandatory drug/alcohol treatment, increases in insurance rates and losing out on jobs because of your DUI record. Additional costs to you can include civil lawsuits from the damages you may have caused and medical bills for people involved. A DUI follows you around like a bully and takes your money over and over again, for years.

person on the ground under white sheet that was killed in crash

6. You could kill someone

In 2015, 129 deaths on Montana roads involved at least one impaired driver. That's 58 percent of Montana's crash fatalities for the year. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence greatly increases the odds that you will seriously injure or kill yourself, a family member, a friend or someone else. Truthfully, that's all the reason you should need to get a sober ride home tonight.