The True Cost of Getting a DUI & How to Avoid It
The Price of Drinking and Driving
Most people who have gotten a DUI will tell you that the drinks that pushed them over the legal limit were the most expensive ones they ever bought. Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous to you and other motorists on the road. Even if you don’t cause an accident, you could get pulled over and handed a DUI, resulting in thousands of dollars in legal fees and other costs. The price of a DUI will vary state to state (and depend on the offender’s record), although the average cost will hover between $11,000 and $30,000. Find out more about the true cost of drinking and driving.
- The bond: You could be released on your own recognizance or you might have to post bond.
- Attorney: The cost of a DUI attorney will fluctuate depending on the severity of the case and the jurisdiction. If you are a first offender, you may qualify for a diversion program where you can take alcohol education or community service hours to offset the charges. If the case goes to trial, you’ll pay a lot more for a defense attorney.
- Court fees and fines: Keep in mind that the attorney’s bill will not include fees and fines levied by the court.
- Diversion program: If you are eligible to take the diversion program, keep in mind that you have to pay to participate. The cost is usually a few hundred dollars.
- License reinstatement fees: Typically, your license will be suspended after a DUI arrest. You will need to pay to get it reinstated, and fees will vary by state.
- Lost wages: In many cases, a DUI conviction means jail time. Even if it doesn’t result in jail time, you may need to take time off work for court appearances.
- Insurance costs: Your car insurance rates could double after a DUI, and expect them to stay high for a few years after the offense. Your rates will take a while to recover. In California law, a driver loses eligibility for a good driver discount for 10 years after a DUI offense.
A clean driving record is the way to cheap car insurance. If you’ve had a DUI in the past, driving safely (and sober) can go a long way toward lowering your premium. Although it’s the season of merriment and cheer, don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel after a couple of drinks. Play it safe and book a taxi or designate a driver.
Do you have questions regarding your insurance? You deserve an auto insurance policy that works together to bring you the best possible coverage from an insurer with your best interest in mind. For quality coverage, contact Little & Sons Insurance Services today.