Local attorney cautions people not to drink and drive on New Year’s Eve

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — With many people preparing for New Year’s Eve celebrations, local attorneys are cautioning people not to drink and drive.

“When you get a DUI you’re convicted of a crime,” Criminal defense attorney Rusty Shepard said. “And when you apply for a job or you apply for you know anything, security clearances or whatever going forward, you actually have to check that box, ‘have you ever been convicted of a crime?’ Yes.”

Shepard said that he sees about a 50% uptick in DUI’s over the holiday season. Many people are unaware of how costly a DUI can be. 

“There are the costs of actually being on probation if you’re given probation,” Shepard said. “The fines, the probation fees, the DUI class. There’s something called a victim impact panel which is another class that you have to take. So all of these things cost money.”

DUI’s often cost a minimum of $5,000, Shepard said. But those costs can rise dramatically.

“I would say probably $5,000 to $10,000 for a misdemeanor,” Shepard said. “If we’re talking about a DUI manslaughter, 20, 30, $40,000 or more.”

Shepard, along with local law enforcement is urging people to use Uber, Lyft, or order a cab if they plan on drinking on New Year’s Eve. 

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