When people are charged with DUI, they typically worry about going to jail and losing their driver’s license. It is only later that they realize the financial costs of a DUI conviction.
The costs can be considerable, easily ranging in the thousands of dollars. Learn what makes a DUI conviction so expensive:
- Fines: A first DUI offense can have fines from $500 – $1,000. A second offense has fines of up to $2,000.
- Vehicle towing: You will have to pay to get your car out of the impound lot.
- Lost wages: If you spend time in jail or lose your driver’s license, you may miss work. If you lose a professional license because of a conviction, your career may be at risk.
- Insurance premiums: Many auto insurance companies raise the rates when a driver is convicted of DUI. In some cases, they may drop the person, which typically means finding new insurance at a higher cost.
- License reinstatement: The DMV may impose hefty fines to get your license back.
- Ignition interlock devices: If the judge orders an ignition interlock device, you must have one installed on all of your vehicles. Installation comes with a fee, and monthly maintenance fees can range from $70-$80.
- Substance abuse assessment and counseling: You may be required to undergo evaluation for substance abuse as well as classes and/or treatment. This is all at your expense.
- Professional licenses: Do you have a professional license? You may have to pay fines and fees to get it back. You may also need to pay for a lawyer to represent you in front of your licensing board.
Considering how many costs there are for a conviction, you may want to contest the charges. It is advisable to speak with an attorney to learn more about the costs associated with your specific case. You may find that fighting the charges is less expensive than pleading guilty or representing yourself.