The national average cost of a first offense DUI or DWI conviction is $10,000, but that ballpark figure can be much higher or lower, depending on the state and city you live in. The costs can escalate if this is a repeat offense. Costs will also be higher if you had a DUI accident, rather than just getting pulled over for DUI.
ALCOLOCK deals with people who have been convicted of DUI where alcohol was involved, but many of these same costs apply if your DUI was de to drugs.
Financial Costs of a DUI Conviction
The financial costs of a DUI conviction are numerous. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but some things to consider are:
Legal fees include bail, lawyer’s fees, court costs and more. These payments and fees alone can run into several thousands of dollars. If someone was injured as a result of you driving drunk, you could also face a lawsuit.
Court Ordered Fines
With a DUI conviction, you will likely have to pay court-ordered fines. Again, these will vary by state, and whether this was a first offense or repeat offense.
Lost Wages or Loss of Work
If you serve any time in jail, you will have lost wages. How much you lose depends on how much time you have to spend in jail. You will also lose wages if you have to take time off work to go to court, court-ordered treatment, or other appointments related to your DUI.
If you drive for a living, a DUI conviction could mean the total loss of your job, depending on your employer.
Auto insurance is expensive enough, but if you are convicted of DUI, you can guarantee your rates are going to go up. A lot. Some auto insurers won’t even issue a policy for people convicted of DUI, especially repeat offenders.
Alcohol Treatment Costs
Depending on your state, you may face court-ordered treatment for alcohol addiction or abuse. You will be responsible for paying these treatment costs. In some cases, your health insurance may help cover the costs, but that’s not always the case. The length of the treatment program and what facility you go to makes a difference in treatment costs, cut they could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Ignition Interlock Device Program Costs
All 50 states have ignition interlock device laws. If you are required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle(s), the installation cost generally runs about $75-100, and then the daily cost is about $2-3. Most states require you to install ignition interlock devices on each vehicle you own.
For first time offenders, the total cost of an IID is less, because you won’t need to have the device installed as long as a repeat offender would. In some states, repeat offenders have to have an ignition interlock device in their car for several years after their conviction.
Your license is automatically suspended after a DUI. Getting it back means jumping through the hoops of an IID program. But all states require you pay a variety of fees to get your license back once you have completed the restricted driving program. These can include a fee to apply for the restricted driving program, a fee to get your license reinstated at the completion of your program, and various and sundry fees in between.
Personal and Emotional Costs of a DUI Conviction
Beyond the financial costs of legal fees, insurance, and the IID program, being convicted of DUI or DWI can haunt your personal life. The circumstances surrounding a DUI can split families apart — especially if there was an accident where someone was injured or killed. A DUI where someone was hurt can give you nightmares and cause mental stress, as well.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, drunk driving is not worth the costs associated with a DUI conviction. If you’ve been drinking, please don’t get behind the wheel. Have a sober friend drive you home, or call a taxi or ride sharing company like Uber or Lyft. If you live in a big city, take public transportation. Do yourself and others a favor.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
If you’ve been convicted of DUI or DWI and need to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, call ALCOLOCK at 866-700-9300, or use our contact form to get started. You can also visit our Locations page to select your state, and find one of our authorized vendors near you, and schedule with them directly. At ALCOLOCK, our goal is to help you succeed in completing your restricted driving program.