DUI patrols are always out, particularly at night. In fact, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking night of the year. While some justify drunk driving by figuring they are only going a short distance, or that they are only endangering themselves, this logic is obviously flawed. Aside from the danger of drunk driving, many do not realize the mess a DUI will get you into. Although actual fines vary from state to state, here’s an idea of what it will cost you if you end up getting charged with a DUI and are found or plead guilty.
One of the biggest costs associated with a DUI is the need for legal representation. In most states, an attorney will charge $1,500 to represent you in a DUI. It all depends on what state you’re in and the attorney’s usual and customary charge. It will depend on the firm, but many lawyers want that money up front.
For a first offender, fines can range as low as $200 to as high as $2,000. Again, it depends on what state you’re in. Every county has a standard fine amount that’s imposed, but it’s not unusual to see fines higher than that standard amount, depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest.
Most people don’t realize there are court costs assessed too. These costs are imposed by state legislatures. How expensive are they? It will depend on where you live, but many court costs are somewhere between $700 and $1000. Many people overlook this cost because they think they are covered once they have hired a lawyer. Don’t forget about this expensive little detail.
Almost all states require a first time DUI offender to obtain an alcohol evaluation and attend a remedial alcohol education program consisting of about 10 hours over the course of a few weeks. Count on about $200 for the evaluation and another $200 for the program. If your blood alcohol content was high, count on a second level program with a cost of about $950. Second level referrals aren’t at all unusual. You must also consider the time out of your day to complete the course.
The Hidden Cost
As with most driving infractions, a DUI will cause the cost of your insurance to increase. One way or another, insurance companies learn of these dirty little details. When they do, premiums go up drastically across the board. The increased premiums will stay with you for at least a couple of years, so even if you’ve paid your attorney, fines and costs, and paid for and attended DUI school, you’re still paying for the DUI 18 months later.
So how much does a DUI cost? Depending on your particular state and the circumstances of your arrest, you’re looking at about $4,000 that has to be paid within a short period of time. That’s the good news. The bad news comes when you’ve been caught a second time or third time. Fines and costs increase significantly and you’re looking at jail time. The information for this article was provided by a Naegle Law DUI Lawyer at the Naegle Law Firm, who specializes in DUI and DWI cases in Arizona.
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