If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it will cost you. In addition to losing your license and/or spending time in jail, you may also face a number of hefty drunk driving fines. With all of these penalties, it is easy to see why it is often more affordable for drivers to obtain legal representation than risk the life-altering consequences of a drunk driving conviction.
Although the exact cost of a DUI conviction will vary based on the laws in your area and your prior criminal record, the average person pays $10,000 or more in penalties and fines. While that number may seem rather high, once you consider all the expenses you may incur after being arrested for DUI, you’ll understand how quickly they add up—starting the moment you are arrested.
First and foremost, you will have to abandon your vehicle if you are arrested for driving under the influence. After transporting you to the police station for processing, the officer will most likely have your vehicle towed to a nearby storage facility, where it will be held until your release—and you will be responsible for all of the related expenses. As a result, you can expect to pay $100 to $1,000 to recover your vehicle.
Before you can even think about getting your vehicle back, you’ll need to post bail. Depending on the severity of your offense and your prior record, that could cost you anywhere from $150 to $2,500. Plus, since your license will most likely be suspended immediately after your arrest, you may have to pay an administrative fee of $60 to $250 in order to temporarily restore your driver’s license and reclaim your vehicle.
Of course, all of the above fees are just for being arrested for drunk driving. If you are convicted of the offense, your sentence may include fines ranging from $300 to $1,200—and that’s not including the fees you may incur from other penalties. For example, if you are ordered to obtain treatment for substance abuse or complete a driver’s education program, that will tack on yet another $150 to $250 to your total bill.
If you are convicted of drunk driving, you will almost certainly have to request time off work to fulfill the terms of your sentence. That means that, along with all of those other expenses, you may lose a significant amount of income. In the worst case scenario, you could even lose your job due to the amount of time you are away.
A DUI conviction can even impact your long-term financial goals. For instance, once your insurance provider finds out about your offense, you can expect to pay two to three times more for auto insurance—and in some cases, your insurer may simply refuse to cover you entirely.
Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid a drunk driving conviction. An experienced DUI attorney can evaluate the facts in your case and create a strong argument that supports your defense. Unlike a general practitioner, a DUI attorney has specialized knowledge in areas that are essential to your case.
To determine the best approach for your case, submit your information online today and receive a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area.