Often, we talk about lives lost and the emotional devastation that all parties suffer as a result of a drunk driving arrest. What most people don't realize is the tremendous financial impact they will have to endure if convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. According to an article posted on InsWeb, an insurance association Web site, drunk drivers must be prepared to cough up about $10,828 in total costs.
The first noticeable difference after a DUI conviction is skyrocketing insurance rates, the article states. Expect your car insurance rates to range between $3,600 and $6,600 a year.
Depending on how long a DUI remains on your state's driving record, these rates are known to continue for up to seven years. Any additional incidents or tickets could make them shoot up even more, almost triple those rates.
Depending on the state you live in, additional costs under California Drunk Driving Laws range from:
Towing: $300 – $1,200
Bail: $250 – $2,500
Fines and Court Fees: $500 – $2,500
Attorney Fees (average): $2,500
Mandatory Education and Treatment: $350 – $2,000
Electronic Home Monitoring: $150 – $2,250
Ignition Lock: $730 – $2,800
Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have lobbied for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers over the years and succeeded. While there is nothing wrong with deterring drunk driving, it is interesting to note that a cottage industry has mushroomed around this offense, which is one of the most common offenses in our country. Alcohol treatment programs count on money from drunk drivers, as do companies that rent out and install the interlock devices.
Those who drive under the influence must be prosecuted. There is no doubt about it. But what about those who are unjustly prosecuted? The financial impact is devastating. The emotional effects and the impact it has on your family and career can be even more devastating. That's why fighting your DUI and picking the right attorney to contest your charge can be one of the most important decisions you make.
Our team of drunk driving defense lawyers includes three former DUI prosecutors and defends citizens accused of drunk driving throughout the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange County courts. With a knowledgeable and aggressive DUI defense lawyer behind you, many DUI cases can be reduced to a lesser charge, dismissed due to faulty police work or defeated at jury trial. Call us for a consultation. (Refer to our article, "Can a DUI conviction be removed in California?")