How does a $30 bar tab end up costing you thousands of dollars? If you decide to drink and drive, you’ll find out that the cost of a DUI (driving under the influence) charge could put you thousands of dollars in debt after all of the court costs, legal fees, and fines.
It seems incredible that having a few drinks and then driving could end up costing that much, but there are a lot of different fees you’ll incur after you’re convicted of DUI. Here are a few different ways the cost of a DUI really hits you.
Depending on what state you’re arrested in, how many previous DUI arrests you have, and what the judge says when you first appear after your arrest, you may have to pay a bond to be released. That bond can cost you up to $2,000, and you’ll have to pay at least 10% before you are released.
If you want legal advice or representation, you’ll need to find an attorney to support you during your DUI court appearances or if you go to trail. If you plead guilty and it’s all wrapped up quickly, it might only cost you $1,000. If you go to trial, your legal fees could be in the thousands.
Court ordered fines
Most DUI charges include a court ordered fine. In California a first offender will pay up to $1,000. Arizona only has a $250 fine for a first offense, and Florida makes offenders pay not more than $1,000 for a first DUI.
Cost of an ignition interlock
Costs vary depending on your state so there are no hard and fast numbers for each and every drunk driver, but you can expect to pay an installation fee plus other fees for the duration of your ignition interlock program. Programs usually last 6 months to one year for first time offenders.
Reinstatement of your driver’s license
Just like ignition interlock fees, license reinstatement fees vary by state, but they could run you over $500.
When you add it all up, the cost of a DUI doesn’t really makes drinking and driving that appealing. The next time you’ve had a few drinks and you’re considering just risking it all and trying to drive home, you might want to consider how much it could run you if you were stopped for DUI. Just the thought of it could sober you up in a hurry.