Drunk driving conviction can cost thousands

Many individuals are aware of some of the consequences of a drunk driving conviction. However, when it comes to the fines and costs associated with the crime of driving under the influence, many do not realize exactly how much a conviction for DUI can cost financially and do not recognize the collateral consequences, which can include job loss, potential custody, programs and loss of license.

The criminal financial tab begins with the initial posting of bail. The cost of posting bail in North San Diego County for a first offense is about $2,500. Assuming the person makes an appearance, this money will be returned. However, if you buy a bail bond it costs 8 percent to 10 percent or $200-$250 that is not returnable. A felony DUI with injury can have initial bail set $100,000 to $150,000, which means thousands of dollars in costs if a bail bond is purchased. Additionally, there are usually towing and impound fees for the vehicle. These costs occur even before any court proceedings begin.

If someone is found guilty of the crime of misdemeanor DUI in San Diego County, he or she must pay a fine with costs that usually start around $2,000 and up. However, the costs do not stop there. A DUI conviction in California also requires classes if you want to be able to drive in California. The first offense program can run from $477 for the three-month program to $1,190 for the nine-month program if one is found with a .20 blood alcohol content or more. The multiple offender program for individuals with priors runs $1,585 and is 18 months long. Most cases also have a license suspension with a reinstatement fee to DMV of $125 or more.

A drunk driving conviction will also increase one's insurance costs by approximately 20 percent or more, according to Insurance.com. The increase generally lasts three years.

Some states require the use of an ignition interlock after a drunk driving conviction. This device allows a car to start only of the driver's blood alcohol content is zero. The installation of this device can cost $100 to $200, not including rental fees and regular maintenance costs. These consequential fees do not consider the fact that an offender could lose their job. Even if someone is able to retain their job, they may spend hundreds of dollars a month on alternative forms of transportation during any license suspension period.

Ultimately, a drunk driving conviction and its consequences can not only seriously impact someone's life, but can also be very embarrassing, time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, those charged with DUI should consider the assistance of a qualified criminal and DUI attorney. A lawyer can handle the case without you going to court and knows what to do in order to achieve the best possible result in your case.