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The financial cost of a DUI conviction

Jan 11, 2022 | Firm News

If convicted of or they plead guilty to driving under the influence, people will likely face varying penalties. Although often overlooked, the financial consequences of drunk driving arrests may have a substantial and lasting impact.

Understanding the potential cost of a DUI, including the following expenses, may help drivers determine how to proceed after their arrests.

Vehicle towing

When arrested for alleged drunk driving, law enforcement officers typically have motorists’ vehicles towed. According to the Judicial Council of California, drivers charged with DUI take on the cost of the tow, as well as the responsibility for any resulting storage fees. At no less than $137 per day, the expense of this often reaches into the hundreds of dollars.

Driver’s license suspension

Those convicted of or who plead guilty to DUI typically have their driver’s licenses suspended. During that time, they must take on the costs of alternative transportation, such as taking the bus or using a rideshare service. Additionally, motorists must pay a $100 reinstatement fee when their suspension periods end to regain their driving privileges.

Alcohol classes

The courts commonly order people convicted of driving under the influence or who plead guilty to this offense to complete alcohol treatment or training. Such programs generally cost about $650. The defendants in these cases, not the courts or the state, bear the financial responsibility for the program participation fees.

Legal fines

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, for a first-time conviction for drunk driving, the courts will order defendants to pay a fine. The courts may fine drivers between $390 and $1,000.

DUI arrests often have lasting and impactful repercussions. Therefore, those charged with drunk driving may consider options to help mitigate the costs – to their futures, as well as to their pocketbooks.