The True Cost of DUIs

July 25, 2018

How much a DUI can actually cost you

DUI convictions are incredibly expensive. The exact costs vary depending on the state and the circumstances. Here’s a look at what a first-time DUI conviction could cost according to an estimate from the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP).

Fines/penalties – $1,500

A first-time DUI conviction fine usually range from $390 to $1,000. However, convicted drivers generally receive an additional penalty assessment fee that’s 3 times that number.

Towing/impounding fee – $215

When a drunk driver is pulled over, the police generally call a tow truck to the scene and have the convicted driver’s car impounded if there is no one else present and able to drive your car.

Treatment program – $626

First-time DUI offenders in California are required to complete a treatment program with a duration of 30 or 60 hours depending on the convicted driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest.

Court costs – $800

Costs associated with mandatory court appearances and court paperwork can vary depending on the length of the case and severity of the offense.

DUI attorney fees – $2,500

A good DUI lawyer generally comes at a high cost. Their fees can be even higher if they are defending other charges on top of the DUI.

DMV reissue fee – $125

In order to get your license back after the 4-month required suspension, you have to pay a $125 fee to DMV.

Insurance premium increase – $2,700

If you are convicted with a DUI, you can expect to pay higher premiums, often for a number of years. Why? Insurance companies determine premiums based on risk.

Total approximate cost – $8,966 

The total cost of a DUI can be upwards of $9,000 even for a first-time offense. Repeat offenses or DUIs with high levels of blood alcohol concentration will result in higher costs and penalties.

Remember, a clean driving record is the way to cheap car insurance. If you’ve had a DUI in the past, driving safely and doing your best to remain accident-free can go a long way toward lowering your premium. A long period of safe driving can really help counterbalance the cost of a DUI to your premium. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your auto insurance policy – we’re just a call away!