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Real Financial Impact of a DUI Conviction

In addition to facing jail time and losing your driver license, you could experience lasting financial consequences if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). For example, you face the possibility of fines, court fees, DUI School, increased insurance costs and license reinstatement fees.

You may also have to pay for an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), which is installed in your vehicle and will prevent the engine from starting unless you provide a clean breath sample. Depending on where you live, a first DUI conviction may cost you anywhere from $9,000 to as much as $24,000.

Primary Costs of a DUI

Let's take a look at the primary costs associated with a DUI arrest and conviction. These numbers vary depending on the state and jurisdiction, whether this is a driver's first DUI offense, and certain aggravating factors, such as having a child in the vehicle at the time or having a high breath or blood test result of .15% or greater.

1. Fines and Court Fees: If you are convicted, you may face fines of $390 to $1,000 – for a first offense. Second, third and subsequent convictions typically carry higher fines. If you are charged with felony DUI in relation to an accident that left another person seriously injured, you could face fines of up to $5,000.

2. DMV Hearing Fees: If you are arrested for DUI, you will have only 10 daysto request a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver license. In California, the DMV may collect a fee if you wish to challenge the outcome of this hearing through a Departmental Review.

3. Towing or Vehicle Impoundment: You may have to get your vehicle towed or pay to have it removed from impoundment, if it was impounded upon your arrest. This may cost several hundred dollars or more, depending on the length of impoundment and the distance your vehicle must be towed.

4. DUI School: If convicted of DUI in California, you may have to pay for court-ordered counseling or treatment. Drunk driving education classes can cost up to $2,500 and rehabilitation or drug or alcohol treatment may cost around $500.

5. Ignition Interlock Device: Generally only applicable in cases involving repeat offenders, you may be required to pay for the installation and maintenance of an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle. This may range from about $25-$200 to install and approximately $25-$100 a month to maintain.

6. Community Service: In some cases, you may be able to pay increased fines in lieu of community service. This cost will vary, but may be about $10 per hour of community service required by the court.

7. Increased Auto Insurance Premiums: One of the costliest ongoing expenses associated with a DUI conviction is the increased auto insurance premiums. Drivers may face increased insurance costs of about $5,000 to $10,000 in the first 5 years following a DUI conviction.

Looking at these figures, it’s easy to see why it’s important to hire a DUI defense attorney to challenge your charges. You see, the cost of an attorney may be far less than the lasting financial impact a DUI conviction may have, not to mention the other consequences of a conviction, like imprisonment.

Protect your future and financial stability with an Orange County DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. by your side. Contact us today.