15 Ways a DUI Will Cost You BIG Time

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Hint…It’s Not Good

15 Ways a DUI Will Cost You BIG Time


DUI’s are expensive. Law enforcement wants to stop drinking and driving, and the best way to accomplish this is to make the conviction as costly as possible.

Quiz Yourself: What Could a DUI Cost You?


How Did You Do? If your score wasn’t so great…read up!


1. DUI Chemical Test Refusal Cost

insurance coverage calculator $0…$7000

Do yourself a favor and don’t refuse the chemical test that the police officer asks of you after they pull you over.

You will either receive a breath or blood test to determine your alcohol content (BAC).

This test in itself is not costly at all.

The cost comes if you REFUSE a blood alcohol test.

There might not be a fine or penalty, but you are almost guaranteed to have an immediate need for a lawyer.

Refusing does nothing beneficial for you. In fact statistics show that almost 87% of those who refuse a BAC test end up being convicted of a DUI.

2. DUI Bail and Bonds Cost

insurance coverage calculator $150-$100,000

A DUI bail amount is not cut and dry. There are costs on top of costs.

In addition, your bail will be affected by the state you were convicted in, your criminal history, the classification of your DUI, etc.

And the classification and charge of your offense makes a huge difference, for example see how much the costs varies depending on classification:

Misdemeanor DUI$500-$10,000

Felony DUI$10,000

DUI Manslaughter$100,000

3. DUI Towing and Impoundment Cost

insurance coverage calculator $100-$1200

This isn’t like calling a tow truck after getting a flat tire.

If you are caught drunk driving, you will be arrested and riding with the police officer down to the station…and you have to leave your car all alone.

Most of the time, the vehicle is seized by the state and a local towing service is called to take your precious car to a tow yard or impoundment lot.

Once you pay the towing and storage fees…they could charge you additional administrative fees before you can take ownership of your vehicle again.

Also good to note…typically insurance will NOT cover towing costs if due to violations or infractions.

4. DUI Defense Attorney Cost

insurance coverage calculator $2500-$5000

Yet again, this cost can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the incident.

An attorney is not cheap. They have to review footage of the incident, look at your breathalyzer and blood test results, evidence, all of the legal intricacies that you might not think of.

Cost BreakdownAverage DUI Lawyer Cost
National Average Cost$1,900
Minimum Cost$700
Maximum Cost$5,000
Average Range$1,500 to $4,000
https://thervo.com/costs/dui-lawyer-cost

Thervo.com really helps break down the DUI lawyer costs.

If your case has to go to trial, it gets a lot more expensive. And it is not recommended to represent yourself during a trial.

5. Cost of DUI Court Fines

insurance coverage calculator $150-$1800

Now that you have hired a nice lawyer…let’s hope your judge is just as nice.

The fine will depend on how many times you have been convicted.

Let’s say your first DUI conviction is around $300, the number will almost double for a second conviction.

And of course…not every state charges the same amount.

6. True Cost of DUI Jail Time

insurance coverage calculator $150-$55,000

If you are sentenced to spending any amount of time in prison, this is a terrible cost in itself.

However, many people don’t usually think about the ACTUAL money you have to shell out to make your prison stay feel a little less like…prison.

Ever heard of pay-to-stay imprisonment?

You pay to stay in a safer, more comfortable facility, including a private cell if you can afford it.

Often, this practice leads to a prisoner accumulating large debts.

Check out this article from huffpost which tells the experience of a former inmate who was billed $55,000 for his three year sentence.

Prisons also have a commissary where inmates can purchase extra food and necessities. Add that to having to pay for using the phone, costs quickly add up.

7. Cost of DUI Education Courses/ Alcohol Treatment

insurance coverage calculator $1000-$2500

After being fined, you might also be court ordered to receive DUI treatment (it could even be your only alternative to incarceration).

Treatment could come in the form of some type of outpatient rehabilitation averaging $1500-$5000 depending on how long the program is.

Or more costly, is inpatient treatment starting around $6000 for a 30 day program, getting more costly the longer the program is.

There are many state and local organizations that offer free alcohol treatment programs, including Alcoholics Anonymous.

The judge may also order you to go to a DUI traffic school. This could be with the intent of reinstating your license faster, and will help to remove points from your record.

These classes are much lower in cost than rehabilitation programs.

8. DUI Probation Supervision Cost

insurance coverage calculator $600-$1200

In most cases after being charged with a DUI, you will end up with probation.

Did you know that probation services cost you?

And during probation periods, they will submit you to alcohol tests which will cost you as well.

Supervision fees are charged on a month to month basis and range from $10-$150. Usually probation is a period of at least several months.

Add that to the random alcohol tests, you will be contributing even more to your already hefty sum.

9. Cost of License Reinstatement after a DUI

insurance coverage calculator $150-$500

While a license reinstatement fee varies from state to state, it is one of the least costly items on this list.

After serving your suspension period, prison sentence, or whatever the court has mandated, you must pay a fee to get your driver’s license back.

A one time DUI license reinstatement fee is usually $150-$200, while a second time offense could cost up to $500.

10. DUI Community Service Cost- Supervision Fee

insurance coverage calculator $60

Very likely you will be court ordered to perform some kind of community service.

Another surprise cost…you have to pay a regular supervision fee.

During a probation period or community service, active supervision is required and you must regularly report to a probation officer or whoever is overseeing your progress in completing court ordered punishment.

11. Driving After a DUI -Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device(IID)

insurance coverage calculator $500-$1500

Even if the state allows you to drive again, they might still require you to install an IID/Ignition Interlock Device.

Think of this device as an in-car breathalyzer.

It is installed onto the vehicle and interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter.

The driver cannot start the car unless they blow into the mouthpiece AND their breath alcohol concentration is UNDER the preset limit programmed onto the device.

Expect to pay:

  • Installation Cost: $50-$150
  • Maintenance/Lease/Inspection: $50-150 Per MONTH
  • Removal Fee: $50-$150

12. Public Transportation Costs After DUI

insurance coverage calculator $100-$1000

Much like all of the costs on this list, public transportation rates are different from state to state, even city to city.

And if you are unable to drive your own vehicle for a number of months, the cost will obviously be higher the more you have to utilize public transit.

We found the data provided by ValuePenguin extremely helpful in breaking down the various costs of public transportation from city to city.

13. Auto Insurance Costs Skyrocket After a DUI

insurance coverage calculator $150-$100,000

The truth is, DUI’s happen to many people…(that doesn’t excuse them or make them any better when they happen)…but you are not alone.

We help advise many people as to what they should do about their car insurance. Because unfortunately…a DUI will cause your rates to jump significantly.

It could cause insurance rates to jump up as much as 80%!

You might even need to consider an SR-22 form since many commercial auto policies do not allow drivers with DUI convictions.

Car Insurance Company Average Insurance Rates: Clean Driving Record Average Insurance Rates: DUI On Your Record
Geico$140$194
Progressive Insurance$157$161
Nationwide$158$183
State Farm$158$213
These are sample rates for Columbia, SC-
Rates are affected by the state you live in.

Your rates will depend on many factors such as your state laws, the insurance company, etc.

If you need help with figuring out your insurance after a DUI, please call one of our agents at (888) 445-2793 . 

We are not high pressure, and we can help.

14. DUIs Could Cost You Your Job

insurance coverage calculator $2000-$30,000

Missing a week of work is costly…missing a month is costly. With all of the court dates, community service, and potential time in jail, you are missing paid days at work.

And worst case scenario…your employer could even fire you for one of the following reasons:

  • Loss of Professional license due to an arrest
  • Employer fires you at their discretion for your poor character
  • You miss too much time working due to court ordered activities
  • You have a job that requires you to drive
  • You worked in transportation services

15. DUIs Cost Your Precious Time

insurance coverage calculator $$$

In addition to the money you are shelling out…think about all of the ways you must pay in precious time.

“Time Is Money”

— Benjamin Franklin

  • Jail Time
  • Less Time for a social life due to community service or lack of car
  • Time spent in court appearances
  • Time spent with your attorney
  • Time spent with your probation officer
  • Time spent waiting for public transportation to get you
  • More time spent in jail if you miss court mandated activities

In Review:

Since costs vary from state to state, and differ whether it’s a first time offense or multiple offenses…it can be almost impossible to truly estimate the financial cost of a DUI.

But on average…the costs are guaranteed to be HIGH:

Average Yearly DUI Cost

0

Low End


Average Yearly DUI Cost

0

High End

There are so many ride services that DUI’s are pretty inexcusable these days.

Driving under the influence is not only expensive but could cost you your life or someone else’s.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has produced a national listing of sober/safe ride programs. Save the number for the one in your area in your cell phone, so you always have it on you.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you might be in need of an SR-22

Find Out More About SR-22 in your State!


Insurance varies greatly from state to state. Click on your state to find out more specifics about SR-22 insurance.

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021 by Veronica Moss

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