If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you’re probably aware that it’s going to cost you some money. There are court fees, monetary fines and the cost of legal representation, but those are known and expected costs. However, there are a number of lesser known fees and costs associated with a DUI. We put those hidden costs in the spotlight today so you see why it’s so important to fight a DUI charge and save yourself some money.
Surprising Costs Associated With A DUI Conviction
A DUI can be a costly crime, which is why we always recommend hiring a lawyer to defend you so that you can hopefully avoid a conviction or a more serious sentence. Aside from the obvious expenses, here’s how a DUI can become so costly.
1. Driver’s License Reinstatement Fees – If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will likely be suspended. Once your suspension ends, your license isn’t just back to an active state. You have to pay to reinstate your license, and in Minnesota, the fee for reinstating a driver’s license that was suspended for an alcohol-related offense is $680.
2. Substance Abuse Classes – As part of your sentencing, you will likely be ordered to partake in substance abuse or alcohol education programs. A weekend class can run a couple hundred dollars, while a 10-week or longer program can end up being around $50 a session, so you can see how these fees can add up quickly. Failing to attend these classes can lead to additional fines, license restrictions and even jail time.
3. Ignition Interlock Fees – Depending on the circumstances of your arrest or your BAC level, you may be ordered to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle in order to drive for a period of time. There’s a rental fee, monthly monitoring fees and calibration costs. On average, it costs about $100 to have the device installed, and between $60 and $100 a month for calibration and leasing costs. If you need to have it in your vehicle for six months, that can easily add up to $500 or more.
4. Increased Insurance Rates – Your automobile insurer is going to catch wind of your arrest, and they are within their rights to increase your premium or even drop your coverage due to your pattern of risky driving behaviors. A recent study found that your car insurance premiums will increase an average of $830 a year following a DUI. Considering it typically takes five years of good driving behavior to get back to a “preferred” rate, this annual increase can add up to more than $4,000 in additional expenses as a result of your DUI.
5. Towing and Impound Fee – If you’re placed under arrest on the side of the road, there’s a good chance the police officer called in your vehicle to be towed. There are fees associated with towing your vehicle and for storing it. If it takes you days or even weeks to get out of jail and locate your vehicle, you may be surprised at the towing fee. Many storage yards charge $50-$100 a day, which adds up quickly.
So if you want a lawyer who can help you avoid these fees by beating the charges, reach out to the experienced legal team at Appelman Law Firm today.