Many understand that the consequences of a drunk driving conviction could
bring in hefty fines. In addition to court costs and penalties, one's
insurance premium can go up, too. However, did you know that it could
cost around $10,000 to $15,000, according to MainStreet.com? This is probably
a little more than you expected.
Sources have broken down how conviction-related expenses become so high.
The breakdown of drunk driving costs
Assuming one posts bail, this can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands
of dollars. Of course, most of this is returned if the suspect appears
before court when he or she is supposed to. One may also have to pay another
couple hundred dollars to get a vehicle back after impound and towing costs.
If one is convicted of driving while intoxicated, there will be a fine.
This can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, not including court
fees. For example, the New York State Police's website reports that
a fine for driving while intoxicated equates to approximately $500 in New York.
Many convicted offenders must take a class about drunk driving. In some
states, this will add approximately $250 to $750, according to MainStreet.com.
There are also financial obligations for post-conviction drug or alcohol
Moreover, one's license is often suspended after a conviction. While
one can get this privilege back, he or she will have to pay a fee, which
can cost a couple hundred more. Moreover, Insurance.com notes that a drunk
driving conviction will increase insurance rates by almost 20 percent.
These increased fees generally last about three years.
In some states, convicted motorists may be required to have an ignition
interlock. This device records one's blood alcohol content. With an
ignition interlock, one can only start a vehicle when his or her blood
alcohol content is below a specific limit. Installing the device is a
couple hundred dollars, and rental fees add on another $70 to $100, IgnitionInterlockDevice.org reports.
While all of these are expenses are hefty, this count does not consider
situations where one's occupation requires driving. In such cases,
one could be fired for a conviction. In addition, some professional licenses
are affected when one is convicted of drunk driving. This can put costs
well beyond the $15,000 mark. In cases where driving privileges are completely
cut off, one would also need to figure in the cost of additional transportation.
These are just some of the costs associated with a drunk driving conviction.
The entire process can be emotionally, physically and financially draining.
For this reason, those facing drunk driving charges should consider qualified
legal assistance. A criminal attorney with ample experience can help you
fight for a minimal charge and sentence (if applicable). With success,
expenses could potentially be lower.