You can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 to $25,000 for a first-time DUI, according to American Addiction Centers (AAC).
All the costs below are for a first-time offense. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence before, you’re likely to face much harsher penalties and fines.
When you’re caught driving under the influence, you should expect to be arrested immediately. Getting bail will cost anywhere from $100 to $2,500, according to the AAC.
Unless you have a sober passenger who can take over when you’re arrested, the police will have to tow your car, then store it while you’re in jail. These fees can vary substantially, from as little as $100 to as much as $1,200.
You can expect the court to fine you between $150 to $1,800 for the DUI charge, but it probably won’t end there.
The court may also level fines for your jail time ($10 to $300), sentencing ($100 to $250), probation ($200 to $1,200), and community service supervision ($100).
The cost of a professional defense can vary wildly. Don’t expect to pay less than $1,500, and a good lawyer fighting a difficult case could cost $5,000 to $10,000 or more.
Your license may be suspended as soon as you’re arrested, though a conviction will almost certainly result in you losing your driving privileges for several months.
You’ll then face expenses including reinstatement fees at the Department of Motor Vehicles that can run anywhere from $20 to $200 and up.
If convicted, you’ll likely be required to attend traffic school or substance abuse classes in order to get your license reinstated.
These courses can cost as little as $350 or as much as $2,000 over the course of your probation.
Ignition interlock device (IID)
Many states require even first-time offenders to install an IID in their car. This “in-car breathalyzer” will detect your blood alcohol concentration, and you’ll have to blow into it before your car will start.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimates that it costs $70 to $150 to install and then $60 to $80 a month to monitor and calibrate the device. That can easily run you $1,000 or more, depending on how long you’re required to use an IID.
You could also be required to take random urine tests — at your own expense — as a condition of your bail or probation. That could easily cost over $100.
GEORGIA DUI LAWS:
Georgia drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher.
When you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, you’ll have to deal with both a criminal case and a separate license suspension. The Georgia Department of Driver Services will handle your license suspension pursuant to the implied consent laws and the GA criminal courts will prosecute the criminal case.
What happens in court won’t have any bearing on the status of your driver’s license and vice versa.
The Georgia courts impose criminal penalties including:
- Jail time;
- Public service.
The Department of Driver Services imposes administrative penalties including:
- Suspension or revocation of your license.
The higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be. Multiple convictions will also result in harsher sentences.