Most of us know well the dangers of drinking and driving under the influence. The exponentially greater risk of hurting yourself and others in an accident should be more than enough to dissuade everyone from driving under the influence (DUI). However, just so that the case against alcohol consumption and driving is even stronger, we can take a look at the outrageous cost you will pay if you are found guilty of DUI. Your car will be seized when you are arrested and there are license reinstatement fees after your driver's license is suspended that add to other factors to drive up the actual California DUI fines and costs.
Increase in car insurance and SR-22 requirement
It is not exactly a secret that auto insurance premiums increase after a DUI, but many people may not realize that this increase is the highest cost that occurs after a DUI. This may be because people think of the increase in the short term, since insurance coverage is usually only bought months at a time. However, there is more to the short term when it comes to an increase in car insurance related to DUI.
To reinstate your driver's license after you have been suspended due to a DUI in California, you must present proof of financial responsibility "SR-22" to the California court. After a DUI, you will be asked to present your SR-22 for at least 3 years. Your insurance company will take care of this for you, but it will come with a considerable increase in your premium.
After you are no longer required to file an SR-22, your car insurance premium may decrease a little, but it will probably stay well above standard car insurance rates. These several years of increased rates will add up quickly and, when all is said and done, you can easily end up paying up to approximately $40,000 in insurance rate increases over the years.
Towing and storage
When a police officer arrests you for drinking and driving, your car will be confiscated. Towing and storage costs can reach approximately $700 and may even be higher the longer you store your car in the towing facility.
After a DUI conviction, you will be asked to sign up and complete a DUI course. The amount of time you will have to attend a course will depend on the severity of your DUI violation, but you can expect to pay at least $650 for the course.
Fines and DUI attorney fees
If you are caught drinking and driving, you will have to go to court. It is rarely a good idea to go to court without a good DUI lawyer. This is especially true for a case as serious as driving under the influence. Even if you know for certain that you are guilty, you should have a lawyer who can help you protect yourself from the excessive penalties that can occur from driving while intoxicated.
According to the Los Angeles DUI attorneys at Chudnovsky Law, the court can levy heavy fines if a client is found guilty of driving while intoxicated. The range charged by DUI attorneys varies, but with these fines and the cost of attorneys' fees, clients should expect to pay at least $ 4,500 after a 1st DUI conviction.
Reinstating your driver's license
When you are caught driving over the legal limit, your driver's license will usually be suspended. Once you have completed the suspension and have met other requirements to be eligible to recover your license, you must pay a DMV license reinstatement fee. This fee will be at least $100.
The true cost of a DUI
If all of these costs related to the DUI are added together, you will be ready to pay an estimated $45,500 for a DUI over a period of several years. Keep in mind that this is an estimated minimum for an offense for the first time. There is a great possibility that you may end up paying more and the number will continue to increase after each violation. Therefore, it is clear that drinking and driving is not worth it. An Uber ride will cost much less than $45,000. Save money and some lives and avoid an arrest mugshot, do not drink and drive.
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