The costs of a DUI are increasing. Everybody knows that a DUI charge and conviction can devastate most people financially. MSN Money reports that a typical first time DUI costs around $10,000 after court costs, fees, towing, and increases in insurance, assuming there was no collision at the time of the DUI stop.
So How Did They Arrive at This Figure?
Bail. In order to be released after arrest and after the sobering up, the offender should plan on paying between $150 to $2500 for bail. Note that in Kentucky, after an interview by pretrial services, the offender could be released on their own recognizance or find themselves paying up to $2500 for bail, assuming there were no additional charges besides the DUI.
Insurance. As attorneys and DUI offenders know, a DUI stop can drastically affect the price of auto insurance. Some insurance companies will drop offenders upon learning of the charge – even before a conviction. Yet others will place the convicted offender in the high-risk category and increase their premiums. MSN Money estimates the insurance cost to be $4,500 or more on a national basis. It could take between three to eight years of “clean” driving for premiums to go back to a preferred status. In Kentucky, this attorney is aware of at least one insurance company which does not raise rates for a DUI-1st conviction.
Fines. For a DUI 1 st conviction, the fines and court costs will vary, ranging between $600 to $1,200. In Kentucky, based on the county, the fines and court costs for a DUI 1 st conviction are $718.00.
Alcohol Education and Treatment. Upon conviction, states require alcohol assessment and attendance at an education or treatment program. The costs vary. MSN estimates the costs to range from $150 to $2000.
Legal Fees. Then there are the legal fees to consider. MSN Money reports attorney fees ranging from $250.00 to enter a guilty plea, up to $25,000 for a complex and rigorous defense. Note that this does not include investigators to review witness and any other case related expenses.
Detention Center / Jail Fees. In Kentucky, plan on spending additional money for booking fees. Additionally, some Kentucky jails charge a per day fee. If you are lucky enought to be granted home incarceration to serve your time, then plan for additional monitoring fees.
Ignition Locks. In some states, a court may order the installation of an ignition lock to prevent convicted offenders from driving if intoxicated. According to MSN Money, these costs can cost between $75 to $1290 / month, plus an installation fee.
License Reinstatement Fee. According to MSN Money, this fee averages $75.00. In Kentucky, this fee is $40.00.
Blood Testing. In Kentucky, prior to providing evidence for the state in the form of your blood, breath or urine, you have the option of selecting to later have a blood test, which must be paid for at the time of the test. The test costs around $400.
Towing. If the officer choses to have your vehicle towed, it could cost the offender between $100 to $1,200 to reclaim their vehicle. Apparently Chicago charges $1,200 to tow the vehicle.
Intangible Expenses. Then there are the intangible expenses to consider:
Lost time from work while in jail.
Loss of license resulting in lost time in getting around.
Possible loss of job and income.
Cost to obtain new job.
Possible loss of professional license.
Breakup of families (and associated divorce costs).
Stigma of being a drunk driver.
Increased life insurance premiums.
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