The true cost of drinking and driving

Everyone knows drinking and driving is not safe and isn’t worth the risk.

But do you know how much a DUI will really cost you in monetary terms?

Even if you are a first time offender, if you get a DUI it can cost you thousands of dollars when all the fees are said and done.  

Law enforcement works hard to stop drunk driving, and steep prices to pay for everything that comes with a DUI is part of that.

While prices will vary depending on the state and circumstances of the offense, we are going to give you an estimate on just how much a DUI will cost you. These numbers are an average, coming from numbers gathered from law officers and people who received DUIs. 

Court-Ordered Fines:  About $1,500

While technically the fine for a first time DUI offender is only about $400- $1,000, extra penalty fines are usually added on, which hikes up the total fine price.

Attorney Fees: About $2,000

Investing in a good attorney will help ease the sentence and legal ramifications, but that comes at a high cost. This average even includes people who used a private defender. And if you have those extra penalties, the price will increase.

Towing and Storage Fees: About $200

When you are arrested for a DUI, it is protocol for the officer to call a tow truck and have your car impounded at your expense. Unless you have a sober passenger in your car capable of driving, you’ll be paying this fee as well.

Car Insurance Increase: About $1,000 annually

Your monthly insurance payment is going to skyrocket if you are a DUI offender. This increase could last for years after the offense.

Traffic School and Educational Courses: About $450

If you are arrested for a DUI, you will have to attend traffic school in order to re-obtain your license. Many states also require you to complete a treatment program or educational course on substance abuse depending on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest.

DMV Reissue Fee: About $200

When your license is suspended for your DUI, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV to get your license back. 

Additional Court Costs: About $800

Along with the fines you will pay, you will also have to file paperwork with the court and you will have mandatory court appearances. All of which will cost you money.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs): About $170

Some states will require you to install an IID on your vehicle after being arrested for a DUI. And the money to install and maintain the device comes out of your pocket. 

Bail: About $200

If you are arrested and put into jail for your DUI offense, you will probably want to get out ASAP. All you have to do is pay more money to get out. 

Total Average DUI Cost: $6,520

And that doesn’t even include health risks or the potential to lose your job or alienate friends and family — the list can go on and on. Definitely not worth it!

If you are aware you have a problem and want an easy, manageable way to get help, there are options out there. 

Apps like Drinker’s Helper can help you cut back, or quit drinking altogether. If you’re looking a step further, there are plenty of places, like Amazon, where you can purchase your own breathalyzer to ensure you don’t put yourself in risky situations.

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