The Costs of a DUI
Updated: Sep 21
Driving under the influence. It’s a mistake- an error in judgment. It’s a snap decision with ripple effects that can last a lifetime. However, it can also ruin lives. The costs of driving under the influence are serious and severe. On top of being extremely dangerous and illegal, it also has major monetary consequences. Take a look below at all of the many costs associated with DUIs.
The Initial Fine for the DUI
First-time convictions come with a hefty price. Dependent on the state and the situation, it can be up to $1000. If it is not the first offense, the fine can be three times as high.
The Cost of Your Car Being Towed and Impounded
Next, when you are arrested for a DUI, you obviously cannot drive your own car home. You will have to absorb the cost of your car being towed and then impounded. In total, this amounts to over a couple hundred dollars.
Many states require DUI offenders to complete some kind of rehabilitation program. Basically, the length of the program will usually be based on the blood alcohol level of the offender. The cost of these can range from $500-$1000.
Additionally, court appearances and the paperwork that comes with them are not cheap. Costs will be higher if the offense is severe or the duration of the case is long. Moreover, the price tag can be around $1000.
In addition, you will likely need an effective lawyer to help minimize the consequences of your offense. The price will depend on the length of the court proceedings and how many charges the lawyer is defending you on. If there are property damage or possession offenses tacked on, the legal fees can be quite high. Even in a simple DUI case, costs are likely to be upwards of $2000.
Of course, dependent on the state you live in, there may be additional costs. For example, a cost that few people know about is a $500 fee to the California Victim Compensation Program. In California, this is required as a way of righting the wrong of the DUI offense.
After a DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended. The amount of time depends on the state you live in. After the suspension is lifted, you will have to pay to have your license reissued. In California, this means 4 months without your license and a $125 reissue fee.
Increase of Insurance Premiums
Also, an indirect cost of the DUI is the increase in auto insurance premiums. Due to the severity of this offense, insurance companies make you pay. Many times, this can mean costs of an additional couple thousand dollars per year.
In conclusion, with all of these costs added up, the true cost of a DUI is around $10,000. Therefore, before you drink and drive, ask yourself if it is worth it. One stupid mistake can drain you monetarily and cause severe injury to yourself and/or others. Remember, the repercussions will follow you for the rest of your life on your driving record and with your high monthly insurance premiums.