How a DUI can Add up in No TimeAvery Appelman
A criminal charge may not lead to jail time, but a conviction will almost always result in your wallet getting a little lighter. Minor traffic tickets and misdemeanor offenses may leave you out a couple hundred dollars, but a DUI is one of the more costly convictions on the books. A DUI can easily cost you thousands of dollars, and it doesn’t all come in the form of a huge fine. Here’s a look at some of the fines and fees you may have to pay after a DUI conviction.
The Price Of A DUI
Here’s why a drunk driving conviction can add up in no time:
Car Insurance Increases – Your car insurance rates are based on your likelihood of getting in an accident on the road, and nothing raises your rates more than a drunk driving conviction. The average yearly increase to insurance premiums after a DUI is about $835 a year, and that elevated rate remains in place for an average of three years. This means the average DUI offender will spend an additional $2,500 over the next three years just to maintain automobile coverage.
Citation Fine – Depending on which state you’re convicted in, you could face a citation amount between a couple hundred dollars to more than $1,000. Expect this fine amount to increase if you have any factors that can upgrade the significance of your DUI arrest, like you had children in the vehicle, you injured someone or you had a very high blood-alcohol content.
Ignition Interlock – After a DUI, many states allow you to maintain your driver’s license if you agree to put an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. An ignition interlock costs anywhere from $75 to $200 to have installed, but you also have to pay a monthly charge for having the device. The monthly charge is usually around $50, but considering most people need to have the device for six months to a year, an ignition interlock device usually costs about $500 on the low end.
Bond – If you need to post bail to be released before your court date, you can do so and this money will be returned to you assuming you meet all the obligations with the court. However, a lot of people don’t have $5,000 to put up as collateral, so they go the bond route. Bond is usually 10 percent of the bail amount, so in this case you would pay $500 to a bond company, and they would secure your release. That $500 is not returned to you, even if you beat the charges.
Alcohol Course – Most courts will require you to take an alcohol awareness course as part of your sentencing, or your lawyer may recommend that you voluntarily enter one as it helps to show the court that you take the charges seriously and you want to get back on a healthy path. These usually cost between $100 and $300.
License Reinstatement – If your license is revoked after a DUI, you’ll need to pay a reinstatement fee at your local DMV. We practice in Minnesota, and a reinstatement fee here will run you $680, so it’s no small fee.
Lawyer Fees – You may be wondering why you would pay a lawyer when you have all these other fees to worry about. The fact of the matter is, if you hire a lawyer who can help you get the charges dropped or reduced, you may not have to pay many of the fines listed above. When it comes to a DUI, a lawyer often pays for their services many times over based on how much money they are saving you. Consider paying up for a lawyer so that you can keep as much of your hard earned money in your wallet as possible.