The Costs Of Driving Under The Influence Continue To Rise | Financial Buzz

The Costs Of Driving Under The Influence Continue To Rise

When you get pulled over for and/or convicted of DUI, the process will prove to be quite expensive. There are some general expenses listed below that give you an idea of how much it will cost if you ever get a DUI. You also much consider all the steps in the process because they can be troublesome, expensive, and emotionally exhausting.

These costs are estimates that give you an idea of what will happen if you are arrested. The local laws and cost of living will determine much it costs to pay your fines and hire a lawyer.

You Need To Get Out Of Jail

When you need to bail yourself out of jail, you might pay anywhere from $100 to $2500. When you pay bail, you will pay 10% of the actual bail amount, and that money will be returned so long as you appear at your hearing.

You will pay an emotional cost when you are in jail because it can be scary to wait in a holding cell with people you do not know who could be much more dangerous than you are. You will be nervous while trying to call family or reach out to a bail bond company that can help you.

You Must Pay For Your Car Towing

When your car is towed after you get arrested, you must pay the towing fee and impound fees. These fees could range from $100-$1200 depending on the company that is used. If your car stays in the impound lot for long periods of time, you will spend even more money because the towing company charges a storage fee every day.

You Must Pay For An Attorney

If this is your first DUI, you will pay anywhere between $1500 and $5000 for your attorney. Your attorney will take care of everything for you, but they are very expensive. If you have gotten your second DUI, you could easily double those fees because the court will want to impose stricter penalties or even a long jail sentence that your attorney must contend with.

You Must Pay Fines

You will be fined for your DUI. Your first DUI fine could be anywhere from $150 to $1800 depending on the jurisdiction where you were pulled over. Some small counties or cities on major highways charge outlandish fines for DUI and other traffic offenses to make money for the community, and you will be expected to pay the entire fine.

You might also be asked to pay a separate fee to the state instead of the local jurisdiction. Make sure you pay this fee or your license could be suspended.

You May Be Asked To Perform Other Tasks As Part Of Your Sentence

You could pay between $1000 and $3000 for any defensive driving or educational courses that you need to take. You might also be forced to install an ignition interlock on your car that costs between $500 and $1500. Getting your license reinstated could cost up to $200, or you might need to start paying for public transportation every month. In some cities, you could pay up to $1000 a month on transportation around the area. If you are taking public transportation to all these classes or community service options, you will spend even more money.

The courts put you through this because they know of a recent NHTSA study that says someone who is pulled over for the first DUI has likely driven while intoxicated up to 80 times.

Your Insurance Costs Will Rise

Insurance companies could cancel your policy or raise the price of your policy because you have a DUI. Your insurance costs for the year could rise between $1000 and $10000 depending on the company and where you live. You have no way to change the insurance carrier’s mind, and you may need to change insurance companies in the process.

Some states also force you to carry a special policy called SR-22 insurance for “dangerous drivers” that is far more expensive than your normal insurance.

Which States Have The Strictest DUI Laws?

WalletHub recently compared everything from court costs to lost wages and the leniency of judges when calculating which states have the strictest DUI laws. While this is not an exacting list, you should be aware of how seriously your state takes DUI offenses.

WalletHub found that Arizona, Georgia, Alaska, Kansas, and Oklahoma have the strictest DUI laws. Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia appear to have the most lenient DUI laws. While this is no excuse to drive drunk, it will give you an idea of what you are up against if you are even arrested.

You must also remember that continued DUI arrests will result in a felony charge on your record. You will likely serve jail time for your DUI, and you may still be required to go through all the courses a first-time offender completes. These charges often cannot be expunged, and it will be even more difficult for you to find work after you get out of jail.

What Is The Total Cost?

Based on available data, you could spend anywhere between $10,000 and $25000 for your first DUI arrest. This does not include lost wages if you lose your job. You might not be able to work as much as you did in the past, and you will not have as much time to spend with your family.

You may also be disqualified for certain jobs because you have a DUI. In some places, you might not even pass a criminal background check to coach your child’s baseball team.


Getting pulled over for DUI can be stressful and harrowing. You will pay a financial price with all the fees that are associated with this arrest, and you will pay an emotional toll because of the hardships that you face after a DUI. Do not drink and drive, save your money, and avoid getting stuck in the court system because of one simple mistake.