Making Bail Is Just the Start: Beware the True Costs of DUI

Everyone knows that being charged with a DUI can lead to a suspended license and potential jail time, but many people are unaware of the long list of additional issues that a conviction can cause. First time offenders can expect to pay anywhere from $100 up to $100,000 bail for a felony DUI charge. In California, the estimated overall cost of a DUI is approximately $10,000, and a second offense can cost more than $15,000. When you consider the disastrous impact that a DUI can have on your finances, it becomes even clearer that one should never drink and drive. A DUI lawyer San Bernardino will help clients fight anything from a speeding ticket to a DUI arrest.

Fees, Fees and More Fees

DUI fines are typically quite high. You will need to pay your attorney and other associated legal fees.  Additionally, you may be required to pay for alcohol and drug counseling, devices for monitoring such as an ignition device, probation fees and court costs. Repeat offenders can expect to pay much more. Other costs can include:

  • Civil lawsuits
  • Towing/Storage
  • Treatment and Education Programs
  • License Reinstatement fees
  • DUI School
  • Jail Reimbursement Fees
  • Victim Compensation Assessment Fees
  • Transportation

Additional Consequences

A DUI conviction could cause you lose your job, especially for those working in education, law enforcement and medical fields. Most job applications will require you to disclose if you have a DUI and a background check will confirm it, however, most employers check only the last three years. Additionally, a DUI conviction can make you ineligible for federal student loans.

Your insurance provider is also likely to penalize you for getting a DUI. Some providers will drop your policy altogether. If they do not, you can expect to pay an exorbitant fee in order to retain coverage. Switching to a new provider will not even be an option in many cases, so you will be stuck paying a higher premium.

Other Issues as a Result of a DUI

A DUI conviction will add points to your license. The number of points and how long they remain on the person’s record will depend on the how serious the offense was and how many times the person has been convicted. Depending on the state that you live in, a person may also be required to use an interlock ignition device in order to begin driving again. All of the fees that are affiliated with this device will be charged to you.

A DUI can affect your personal life, as well. It can affect your relationships, employment, finances, and if it is charged as a felony, can keep you from renting an apartment. Emotionally, a conviction will cause stress and because in most states, a DUI is public record, embarrassment.

Being arrested for a DUI is an avoidable issue that can greatly damage the rest of your life. In order to protect yourself, it is essential to avoid drinking and driving. However, if you are pulled over for a DUI, you should contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

Midnight Walker writes about the dangers of DUI, defensive driving and road safety, all serious matters. Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP, an experienced DUI lawyer San Bernardino group, provides a defense for their clients faced with these charges.



Preston Clark is a licensed attorney and entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area.