The financial costs of a DUI

If you are charged and convicted of DUI, the costs go well past the fine. To start with, the maximum fine for a felony first-degree charge is $14,000. At the other end of the spectrum is a relatively low but still hefty $1,000 for a misdemeanor DUI.

Then there are many associated costs, some of which might not become evident until years later.

Upfront costs

Among the upfront costs are the fine along with any effects you may feel from not having a driver’s license. For example, if you lose your license, how will you get to work? Perhaps you are lucky enough to be able to bike or walk there when weather permits. Otherwise, though, you may have to shell out for taxi rides or wake up an hour earlier than you normally would for public transportation.

You will likely also have to pay car storage and towing charges along with a driver’s license reinstatement fee. Your insurance rates are all but guaranteed to increase, and you could have to pay for new license plates.

There is also the fact that if you have to go to jail for at least a few days, you may lose your job because you cannot show up to work. If your job is related to driving, you might also not be able to carry out your duties depending on the situation with your driver’s license.

These upfront costs might be minimal, or they could end up costing many thousands of dollars along with ripple effects for the rest of your life.

Longer-term costs

A criminal conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or felony (DUI can be either) is something many employers do not like to see. Thus, a DUI could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars or more in lost future income. After all, your job prospects may be limited.