The Costs of a DUI This Holiday Season
By Paul C. Looney, Attorney
Being arrested for drunk driving is not only stressful, it is also expensive costing the offender an average of $10,000. And the repercussions don’t end with the costs. There’s also loss of freedom, potential job loss, broken relationships, serious injury, lives lost and a criminal record. It is important to have a plan this holiday season if you plan to consume alcohol and then go home. Here’s a breakdown of the costs:
A DUI arrest will result in physically being taken to jail. Bail will need to be paid before being released after arraignment in front of a magistrate or judge. The average cost for bail is between $150 and $2,500.
Upon arrest, the motor vehicle is usually towed to a central impound lot and an initial storage fee of $100 to $1,200 will be charged and then a daily storage fee for each 24 hours the vehicle remains at the impound lot.
Legal representation for a first-time DUI offense is usually between $2,000 to $20,000.
Several factors determine the fines that will need to be paid, including the minimum fine (mandated by the State), the Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time of arrest, whether or not this is a first DUI and/or whether or not anyone was injured. Fines range from $250 to $10,000.
Most insurance companies will raise the rates for insurance after a DUI due to the insured going into a category of higher risk. Increased car insurance premiums can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 more per year, the price of which does not decrease for several years.
Alcohol Education and Treatment Classes
Upon a DUI conviction, education and/or treatment classes about driving and the dangers of alcohol. The classes usually cost $300 to $1,000.
Ignition Interlock Device
Some states require even a first-time offender to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicle. The installation cost is usually about $350 with an additional monthly fee of around $200.
License Reinstatement Fees
After completion of all requirements of the judge and the DMV, more fees have to be paid in order for the driver’s license to be completely reinstated. These fees usually cost $100 to $500.
The bottom line is that DUIs are expensive. Even for DUI arrests that ultimately end up not being charged or convicted, the expenses involved add up before it’s over. If you plan to drink during this holiday season, plan ahead with a designated driver. If you or a loved one have questions or need assistance with a DUI or DWI, call our law office at 281-597-8818 (Houston) or 979-826-8484 (Hempstead).
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