DUI Fines

10 Costly Consequences of Drunk Driving Laws

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Most people don't realize that DUI fines cost you a lot of money. Here are the 10 things that go in determining the cost of your drunk driving penalties and how much you should expect to pay.

1. Your Driving Record

The biggest factor in determining your DUI fines is your past drunk driving record. Typically, the fines for first time DUI offenses are less costly than multiple offenses. The actual amount of your fine will depend on your state dui laws.

A first time DUI offense usually falls between $500 - $1000. If you get a second or third DUI, the fines will be much higher. The fine for a repeat offenders can be up to $15,000 and even higher.

Your Cost : $300 - $15,000

2. Blood Alcohol Test Fine

When you are arrested for a drunk driving, you will have to take a chemical test to get a more accurate estimate of your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

If you fail your DUI sobriety test , you are required by the "Implied Consent Law" to take the chemical test. This law basically says that if you have a driver's license you have agreed to take this test.

If you refuse to take this test, your driver's license will be suspended and you will be hit with a DUI fine.

Read DUI Consequences: What Will Happen to Me Now?

Your Cost: $500 - $1,000

3. Car Impounded

If you are arrested for drunk driving, your car will be impounded. You will then have to pay for the towing and impounding fees. You could also be charged a vehicle release fee.

Your Cost: $300- $500

4. Attorney and Legal Fees

This is probably the most expensive part of a drunk driving arrest. The exact amount you pay will depend on the details of your case and the experience of the lawyer. But expect to pay a lot in terms of legal fees, bail, retainer fees, and legal counsel.

You may able to save some money by using a public defender to represent you. However the courts will look at your monthly income statement and determine if you can afford to pay for a DUI lawyer. If your income is too high, you're going to pay for the lawyer out of your own pocket. And that is going to be expensive.

Your Cost : $5000 - $25,000

5. DMV Hearing

One of the consequences of a dui is that your driver's license will be suspended. If you decide to challenge your drunk driving arrest you will have to schedule a hearing with the DMV. However, you will have to pay for the cost of filing for this hearing.

Your Cost: $150

6. License Reinstatement

To get your driver's license reinstated you will have to get a restricted driver's license. For this you will be charged a reinstatement fee.

Your Cost: $120

7. Auto Insurance Increase

Your going to be paying a lot for your DUI car insurance. Your original car insurance is going to be canceled and you will have to purchase a new car insurance policy.

DUI Auto Insurance: Expensive Consequences of Drunk Driving Laws

The cost of your insurance is going to triple and may even be higher. So if right now you are paying $100 a month, you can expect to starting paying between $300 - $500 per month after a drunk driving arrest.

Your Cost: $3,000 - $7,000 increased yearly payment.

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8. DUI Schools

As part of your DUI fines you will have to attend DUI school. The length of time you have to attend the school depends on high was your BAC. The higher your BAC, the longer you must attend the DUI school. In California, for example, you can get anywhere between 12 hours to 30 months of DUI school.

For a typical DUI school you will be charged for an assessment fee, intervention fee, and cost of materials.

You Cost: $300- $500

9. Ignition Interlock Device

Most states require you to purchase and install and Ignition Interlock Device before reinstating your driver's license. Once this device is installed in your vehicle you will have to provide a clean breath sample before driving your vehicle.

You will have to pay for the monthly rental fee which ranges from $50-$100. You will also be required to pay for maintenance expenses and the fees for downloading the data from the device.

Your Cost: $730 - $2,800

10. Restitution

You will be held responsible for any damages you cause as a result of your drunk driving. This means you will have to pay for damages public or private properties and personal injuries to another human being. The costs of these damages can easily be over $10,000.

If you injure or kill someone while driving drunk, you will also face criminal charges. Which means more jail time, more lawyers, and more DUI fines.

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Bottom Line

DUI fines are expensive. You will need to spend a lot of money in legal fees to avoid getting a conviction or reduce your sentence. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, use the 10 points listed in this article to better understand how much you can expect to pay after your arrest.