Getting a DUI is only slightly less fun than a root canal. There's the night in jail with your favorite predators, then the seizure of your ride, followed by the inevitable talk of shame you'll get to have with loved ones. 

But the financial cost of getting a first-time misdemeanor DUI is the true prize here. The Auto Club of Southern California says it will run you more than $15,000 when it's all said and done — mostly thanks to the inevitable insurance rate hikes of more than $10,000 over 10 years.

A recent look at 2016’s Strictest & Most Lenient States on DUI by personal finance site WalletHub found that California was No. 1 when it comes to average rate increases after a first-time drunk driving conviction.

In its analysis, WalletHub considered 15 factors, including fines, sentences and ignition-lock requirements. The Golden State ranked 34th overall strictness. Arizona is the state toughest on drunk drivers, according to the study.

But California is still vigilant when it comes to drunk driving arrests and convictions. As the site notes, a DUI will be a factor in California if you get arrested for a second offense within 10 years — making us the sixth-toughest state in that regard. And the standard administrative license suspension is 120 days.

The state also ranked eighth for minimum jail time (two days for a first offense), and 10th for minimum fines ($2,000 or so, according to the AAA).

South Dakota, by the way, has no minimum sentence and no jail awaiting first-time offenders, making it the most lenient state for drunk drivers.

This whole story, of course, is the greatest advertisement ever for Uber and Lyft. Their prices are so much better than the cost of a DUI.

Source: WalletHub

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