A DUI offense can quickly get very costly. Not only are there legal penalties like fines to pay, but there are also often additional associated costs. These costs can increase depending on the specifics of the incident as well as your previous driving record.
DUI Cost Breakdown
As mentioned above, there are typically financial penalties in place for most DUI and alcohol-related driving incidents. You can handle the changes to your finances, with some planning. In addition to the fines, there are many additional costs associated with DUI, and these include:
1. Loss of License/Cost of Transportation
Most states suspend driving privileges immediately following a DUI incident, and this suspension will often increase following a conviction. This can force offenders to take public transportation or pay for cabs or rideshares. It depends on your city, but cabs can quickly add up as an expense, costing hundreds of dollars a month.
2. Interlock Costs
An interlock device is often a requirement for regaining driving privileges, and offenders are responsible for the cost of installing and leasing the device. Some states have financial assistance options for eligible offenders. The typical cost for an interlock is between $70 and $125 to install, and between $70 and $140 per month to lease. There are also occasional costs like calibrations and lockouts. A lockout can occur if the offender fails too many tests, and the device locks them out. It has to reset remotely and often a lockout fee is levied.
3. Increased Insurance Costs
Many states require SR-22 or FR-44 insurance coverage, which is for high-risk drivers. This additional coverage can cost anywhere from $60 to $120 a month. Also, your regular insurance provider may increase your rates for coverage following the incident, if they place you into a higher-risk category.
4. Loss of Work/Wages
Many offenders may lose work if they have no transportation, or work in a field that requires them to hold a valid driver’s license or commercial driver’s license. Lost wages can add up, quickly. The average amount lost is around $300, but this can increase dramatically depending on your role and how important having reliable transportation is to your work. Additionally, other licensed professions may rescind credentials following a DUI.
5. Treatment Costs
If treatment is required or ordered by the court, the offender is responsible for those costs.
6. Attorney Fees
An experienced DUI attorney can represent your interests in court, but offenders are responsible for the legal fees.
7. License Reinstatement
If you are eligible to get your license back, you will have to pay any required fees.
8. Interlock Policy Violations
There are costs associated with violating the interlock policy. In a compliance-based state, the term of your interlock requirement can be extended, which costs you additional lease fees. If you are locked out, you may be required to pay a lockout fee. If the device is damaged due to tampering, the offender may need to pay for the cost of repair or replacement. It can cost thousands to replace an IID.
Some courts require an alcohol or behavioral assessment from offenders. Defendants can also voluntarily submit them if they feel it will have a positive impact on their case. The cost of these assessments varies, but typically runs between $300 and $5,000 depending on what is needed. Alcohol abuse assessments tend to be on the less costly end of the spectrum, though prices can increase if rush services are needed.
10. DUI School
Substance abuse classes or treatment may be required by the court or recommended by the assessment. The cost of these courses can be between $150 and $2,000 or more depending on requirements.
These costs can add up, and end up costing offenders more than just money. There are also emotional costs, and career costs as well.