A DWI Could Break Your Bank

If you know how much it will cost you for being arrested for drunk driving, will it stop you? If the numbers are any indication, probably not. If you just received your ticket, now is the best time to prepare yourself for the financial aspect of this journey. And a DWI arrest, whether or not you are ultimately convicted, is a journey.

Total DWI Costs Approximate $10,000

You read that right. The national average total cost to you for drunk driving is around $10,000. And that is the low end – a first offense with no damage and a blood alcohol just above the 0.08% mark. If this is a second conviction or more or, if the blood alcohol percentage is higher, the costs will sky-rocket.

In Texas the DWI fines and costs for a first time DUI can run from $9,102 to $11,502. Most of that amount is for attorney’s fees and increases in auto insurance rates. The fine is $2,000 in itself. You must understand right now that the DWI you or a loved one has received will take a large chunk of your wallet and begin to prepare to handle the expense.

Do not waste time arguing about the fairness or extravagance of the penalties. It is time to “lawyer up” as soon as possible. This is the only way you can lessen the severity of the financial blow.

Itemized DWI Costs

The following is a list from MSN.com of average costs across the United States:

  • Attorney Fees $250 – $2,500+
  • Towing $100 – $1,200+
  • Auto Insurance Increases $2,200-$8,000
  • Bail $150 – $2,500+ (especially if you use bail bonding)
  • Mandatory Evaluation and Education $425+
  • Court Fines $385-1095+ (guilty plea or not)

The attorney fees vary according to what your lawyer does for you. A quick stop at court to place a guilty plea will be about $250. A jury trial brings up much larger expenses, including the possibility of paying and investigator and/or expert witnesses.

Other fees you may see include money to go towards a jail filing fee, the victim assistance and victim compensation funds, the law enforcement fund, a brain injury surcharge, and the victim impact panel assessment.

If you are ordered to have a monitoring bracelet, that can cost $100 for placement and about $300 monthly. If you must have an ignition lock that will be about $325 for installation and $75 and up for monthly service.

It really adds up.

Social Costs

The social costs don’t have hard numbers but there is an impact in several areas of life that will continue to affect you or your loved one financially and emotionally.

  • Did you know your life insurance rates could go up? Or that it may be more difficult to obtain life insurance at a preferred rate?
  • You lose your license for a period of time. Could this mean loss of job as well?
  • Your professional license as a lawyer, physician, or pilot could be rescinded.
  • It doesn’t look well on a résumé or a job application.

Because of these costs, a good attorney who specializes in DWI arrests in the area where the ticket was issued will save you more than he or she costs. Your lawyer can help reduce some of these fees and penalties and guide you through the process in a way that is in your best interests. Considering the simplest DWI case can take months to resolve, you need someone knowledgeable to shepherd you through it.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DWI in the Dallas/Fort Worth area call The Wilder Firm today, right now, to make an appointment.