How much could a DUI really cost?

Nearly everyone has heard that a DUI charge can be expensive. There are several ad campaigns across the nation that warn that a DUI could cost you thousands of dollars.

You may wonder: is this true?

What costs are involved in a DUI?

How much a DUI could cost you depends largely on the offense. The costs generally increase depending on if it is a first-time offense or a second-time offense.

Even so, DUI charges can involve a wide range of costs, including:

  • Fines: Individuals often have to pay fines ranging between $400 to $6,300, depending on the offense and the circumstances. A third DUI offense could even lead to fines up to $10,000.
  • License reinstatement: One of the administrative penalties of a DUI involves license suspension or even revocation, depending on the circumstances. Reinstating your license usually costs $100.
  • Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP): Before individuals can obtain their license and driving privileges again, South Carolina law requires them to complete ADSAP. The fee for this program is $500, with additional treatment costing $2,000.
  • Ignition interlock devices: Under South Carolina law, individuals convicted of a DUI, even a first-time DUI, might have to install an ignition interlock device. This usually takes effect if an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) tested at .15% or higher. Individuals are usually responsible for paying the costs for the device and installation, which on average can total more than $1,000.
  • Insurance costs: Many auto insurance companies will require individuals convicted of a DUI to obtain an SR-22 after a DUI conviction. These on average cost between $300 and $800.

Totaling the maximum costs only listed here, a DUI could cost an individual roughly $10,700.

Not all costs can be calculated

On top of the fees, fines and other costs, some costs are not as easily calculated.

DUIs can often lead to jail time or even community service after court procedures. This can lead to time away from work and lost wages. Even after all of that, without a license or a vehicle, it is difficult to get to work, unless individuals pay for public transport.

This is why it is critical to fight DUI charges

Hearing about these costs can be overwhelming, but that is why it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. That way, you can protect your rights, avoid these costs and preserve your future.