A standard drink at the bar is sweet during consumption. But not as sweet as average costs of a DUI. Please do not ignore your body signals you when getting impaired. This is not all, you feel motivated to drive your way back and ignore the need of a designated driver. There is a good chance that you end up in an at-fault accident. Or pulled over by an arresting officer for driving under impairment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their statistics suggesting that 28 people die from DUI crashes daily.
So what is DUI?
It is driving under the influence of alcohol above the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limits. Most states set up a legal limit of .08 BAC. As a result, it is a crime to drive drunk.
Police officer will arrest the driver after positive BAC tests and field sobriety tests . Also DUI can involve body injuries, property damage and even death.
DUI on your record can cause serious consequences to your live and financial side.
Therefore, always consider the costs of your decisions. Costs can be different: money, health, lives of innocent people that got on your way.
Penalties alone will scare anyone. So most of people don’t know the the totals needed to pay. For now we will count as a financial penalty to help deter drunk driving.
By 2015, the United States increased DUI fines and penalties. This clearly shows that a financial penalty becomes a key factor to reduce DUIs.
The average estimate is the minimum amount and it could add up depending on the type of traffic violation and court ruling.
We are all aware of these dangers of drinking and driving.
This happens when the victim decides to sue the offender through a separate civil lawsuit for property damages or bodily injuries.
Let’s determine average expenses of a DUI by 3 main checkpoints:
- This is first DUI offense
- No injuries
- No property damage
We do not include emergency help, emotional recovery, property damage, career as all combined can worth millions.
Expenses associated with a DUI conviction:
- Vehicle impoundment, towing and storage
- Court costs
- Legal fees
- DUI education programs
- Increased auto insurance Premiums
- Drug and alcohol assessment and counseling fees
- License reinstatement fee
- Loss of work income
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Alternate transport cost
- Cost of incarceration
- Periodic chemical testing and treatment
- Limited driving privilege
The police officer will impound your car after arrest. You should consider paying an impound fee, towing fee and storage charges if that happen. After payment you’ll be able to get your vehicle back.
This can amount to a minimum of $350; the charge can go high depending on the storage fee.
The towing fee is between $100 and $1,200. The impound fee ranges from $200 to $1000. The storage fee can go as low as $100 per day. On average, first-offense DUI convicted driver would have car impounded or immobilized for 10 days.
When one loses the driving privileges, then you will have to look for alternate methods of transportation. That will contribute to the escalating overall cost of a DUI.
One might catch a cab or hire a personal driver to access the DMV facilities or even finding an attorney. This hassle can cost you between $100 and $1,000 before you get your ruling.
You will require a DUI attorney to defend you one each case. Here we will assume that your case does not get to trial. In this case, the hourly rate of an attorney is usually between $100 and $300 and the flat rate can range between $2500 and $3500.
To be on the safer side we can take an average of $3500 for the legal fees.
You will need an experienced lawyer to help you fight the charges and reduce the costs that come with them.
The factors that will determine the cost of your DUI lawyer will depend on your location, the type of legal work, the experience of your attorney and the billing method. The retainer payment can be upfront on partly depending on your agreements with the DUI attorney.
The most expensive case if the lawyer bills for each hour of work. It also depends on with the firm and the nature of the lawyer.
The cost gets expensive when you hire an attorney and when your insurance company decides to increase your premiums. If your lawyer is able to navigate through the case, this will relieve you some of the costs that come with a DUI sentence.
If the lawyer is luck to reduce the penalties through a plea deal, the better.
In normal cases, it is your choice that will determine whether the case can go to trial or accept a plea bargain with the prosecutor. In this case, the cost will be high. If your attorney gives you the green light then the cost can end up with the legal fees if you happen to win the case.
What if found guilty of a DUI?
If you are found guilty, a first-offense DUI might serve 6 months in jail or at least three days in incarceration. In our case, the probation can go to a minimum of 6 months. You are required to pay a probation services fee of $65 a month.
The jail fee is usually between $10 and $50 and you will also pay a jail term fee of $330.
Driver expected to post bail. They are usually between $150 and $2,500 depending on the offense if arrested. As a result If the criminal fines, penalty assessment, and other fees are added together, this could reach up to $2000.
In case you got in trouble with a DUI, some states may require an amount of money on top of the official fine in their Victims Compensation Fund. This restitution fund is about $100 and could even be more if your DUI charge is involved with losses and damages.
The court may order you to pay as part of your criminal sentence. This fund is used by states to help out victims of all crimes.
The court would require one to pay for the costs encountered when processing the hearing in terms of paperwork, hearing appearance and lab fees, when chemical tests are involved. The average cost is about $800.
The fines imposed on a first-offense DUI has a range of $300 – $2,000 depending on the level of violation. If you are not lucky there might be an annual surcharge of about $2,000 to keep your license for 3 years.
What are other penalties?
If you are lucky of not getting a jail time or paying fines, then the court might sentence you to alternative forms of punishment: alcohol or drug dependency or addiction assessment, treatment for alcohol abuse, alcohol teaching and prevention programs and community service (40 hours).
The treatment programs are done on the basis of the BAC results at the time of arrest.
If you happen to be on probation you will be required to attend AA or NA meetings and take random urinalysis tests. The risk reduction course consists of three components: a 30min – 1 hour assessment ($75), materials fee ($15) and a 20-hours intervention ($185).
Therefore, an alcohol or drug dependency or addiction assessment would cost about $280.
To show the prosecutor and the court that you are taking responsibility for your actions, you are expected to undergo Drug and Alcohol Evaluation.
The evaluation process is all about taking tests, being screened and answering questions to provide information for the report.
You will also attend a community service for a duration of 24 to 80 hours and it will cost you about $60. Community service sentence might be replaced by an Alcohol Education Program for minors.
Alcohol Treatment and Education might cost you on average $1,000-$2,500.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers below 21 years old are more likely to get involved in an auto accident. The first DUI is usually a misdemeanor, depending on the judge’s ruling one can either go to jail or probation.
What is the common penalty for driving under influence (DUI)?
The most common penalty would be the suspension of the license for 1 year. To prevent the offender from picking up charges and driving while drunk, some states might impose the installation of ignition interlock device.
In some states, it is mandatory to install an ignition interlock device for the purpose of License reinstatement. This device required that you deliver a breath sample to start your vehicle.
If you are to lease the device, you will have to pay for the installation cost ($100), daily lease ($2.5), daily maintenance ($2.5) and daily calibration ($2.5) – you will be paying about $225 every month.
When you need to drive while adhering to the court requirements, you will need a restricted license before you get your license back. This limited driving privilege will cost you about $100.
If you have completed you suspension period and full filled any other requirements to be eligible to get your license back, your last payment will be a reinstatement fee to get your driving privileges back.
The fee will cost between $100 and $300 depending on the state you are in. So driving privileges can be restored after reinstatement fees are paid.
To meet the requirement of a first DUI offender, the individual has to attend a 3 months alcohol education program. So the program consists of education Class (a combination of lecture and film), group session and Individual interviews.
The purpose of this course is to raise the awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving that further prevents future occurrence of a DUI.
BAC results are important
These programs can go up to 9 months depending on the blood alcohol content (BAC) test results at the time of arrests. To participate the classes it is necessary to make down payments.
The alcohol and DUI prevention classes might cost you between $200 and $2000, depending on your state, but on average you might pay $500. The Alcohol and Drug Education and Counseling program should be provided by a state-licensed service institution.
This will cost you approximately $600 and can go to a maximum of $1,200.
One can lose a job if it depends on transportation of goods and people. There is a loss of income when one spends most of the time out of a job. Considering a median income of $52000 a year, one might lose $1000-$4000 in a year.
An auto insurance coverage is usually bought on a monthly basis. In a DUI-related car insurance, the proof of financial responsibility or SR22 is required for at least 3 years classifying you as a high-risk driver. The premium increases when you request for the filing of an SR22.
Do not expect that the premiums will go back to the standard car insurance rates, mostly they stay well above the normal rates.
There are long term costs one may encounter when determining the average cost of a DUI. This would lead us to the increasing premium rates. In normal circumstance, a high-risk driver is expected to pay between $1000 and $2000 above the current premium pay per year.
What about car insurance costs after DUI?
Therefore, if one is expected to carry an SR22 certificate for 3 years, then one would accumulate an increased car insurance rate range of $3000-$6000. This value can be more depending on the state and the type of violation at this stage. In this case, the highest cost on the list is on your insurance rates.
These financial penalties could be severe and lengthy if not controlled. Therefore, the data obtained should prepare you for what to expect after you are ruled guilty of a DUI.
Therefore, the cost can be less if we consider the above-mentioned process and ignore other violations: we are dealing with a neutral case.
However, the real cost average DUI cost for a first offender will be determined by your state. Therefore you will need more information from your state DUI attorney and DMV to confirm the real cost.
|AVERAGE COST OF A FIRST DUI||$16675 – $49475|
|Posting bail||$150 -$2500|
|Jail time (3 days)||$330|
|Court Fines||$300 – $2,000|
|Criminal fines, penalty assessment and other fees||$2000|
|Vehicle Impound Fee for 10 days||$100+$150 + ($100 *10) =approx. $1250 +|
|Ignition Interlock Device for 6 months||$100+ (225 *6) = approx. $1450+|
|Attorney (Your attorney)Court Proceedings||a safety charge of approx. $3500+|
|Attorney (Court Appointed)Court Proceedings||$500|
|SR22 Insurance||$15 – $25|
|$1500- $2,000 premium increase (for 3 years)||$4500-$6000|
|License Reinstatement Fee||$100 – $300|
|Alcohol or drug dependency or addiction assessment||approx. $280|
|Alcohol and Drug Education and Counseling program||$600 -$1,200|
|Loss of income||$1000-$4000|
|Probation services fee||$65 * 6 month= approx. $390|
|ALTERNATIVES: Methods of transportation||$100-$1000|
So what are the totals for first DUI?
The total is: $16675 – $49475+ for your first approximate DUI conviction.
For the cost of a first time DUI you could ride 12,133 miles in a taxicab. That is almost 1/2 way around the world.
Or it could be your down payment for a new house.
Maybe a new car that you always dreamed about?
This is perhaps the cost of not taking a cab back home. The average cost range provide is to give you a rough estimate of what you will have to part with. However estimates does not include charges that lead to injury, the death of a person and destruction of property.
The average cost of a First DUI offence should help you make preparations to reduce the penalties and costs.
Select Insurance Group is willing to assist you in obtaining an SR22/FR44/SR50/SR22A in the United States. We specialize in helping high-risk drivers get back their insurance with ease.
It is just simple, you will have to fill our auto quote form. Your first DUI is not the end of the world. Do not drink and drive, reduce these costs by taking a cab when the party is over.