Cost of a DUI Conviction Goes Far Beyond the Obvious
Average Costs Ranges from $5,000 - $20,000
By: Mary Ann Pekara
Have you been charged with a DUI? If so, you probably know that drunk driving is an extremely costly offense.
The exact sum you could end up paying depends on a number of factors, especially whether the DUI charge is a felony or misdemeanor. In addition to posting bond, you should expect fines, costs and license reinstatement fees if you are convicted of DUI. Other costs may include:
- probation fees
- mandatory drug and alcohol assessment and counseling
- any associated monitoring (ignition interlock device or continuous alcohol monitoring).
Beyond those direct costs, you can also expect to pay much higher automobile insurance rates, often for years after your license is reinstated. Studies focusing on various states around the country have found the average cost of a DUI conviction to range from $5,000 to $20,000. Some of those costs continue to increase.
Illinois is one of the few states providing an official estimate of average DUI costs. The typical Illinois DUI conviction costs the drunk driver $14,660. That average takes into account time away from work and attorney fees. Without those two items - if you missed no work time and were not represented by a DUI attorney - you could expect to pay approximately $8,660 in direct DUI-related expenses.
High risk insurance, required in Illinois for three years after reinstatement of your driver's license, means an average increase of $1,500/year in automobile insurance costs.
The fine for a DUI conviction varies from state to state: in Illinois, it may be up to $2,500. Additionally, an Illinois driver convicted of DUI can expect $500 in court costs, a contribution to the trauma center fund, and towing and storage fees.
Then there are fees for driver's license reinstatement and substance abuse counseling/education.
Of course, that total doesn't take into account costs for monitoring equipment such as an ignition interlock device or the emerging continuous alcohol monitoring system. In addition, some states require fees not included in the Illinois breakdown. For instance, Washington state requires those convicted of a DUI - or sentenced on a lesser related offense after being charged with DUI - to pay $125 to the state toxicology lab, and to make a $500 contribution to the state's victim's fund.
If you've been arrested for DUI, you may want to consider talking with an attorney about what you might expect. Call 877-349-1311 today for a free consultation.