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What is the full cost of a DUI?

If you face charges for driving under the influence, you may primarily be thinking about how the punitive fines will accumulate and affect your finances. However, there are other expenses that add considerable cost to the experience. 

Before you decide to plead guilty or represent yourself in court, learn more about the full cost of a DUI conviction. 


Receiving a DUI conviction comes with penalties and fines, the cost of which depends on whether you have another DUI conviction already on your record. For your initial DUI, expect to see a fine ranging anywhere from about $400 to $1,000. Drivers with a former conviction for driving under the influence may have to pay as much as three times that estimate. 


Law enforcement will not let you drive home after determining that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Instead, expect to have your vehicle towed and impounded, a cost that comes out of your pocket. This can cost roughly $200. 

Treatment program  

The court recognizes that sometimes, the problem is more than getting behind the wheel after a few drinks: Addiction may be the root of the matter. Judges often order DUI offenders to complete a treatment program to help them break the cycle of alcohol addiction. Such programs, while a good investment for the future and a bridge to better health, can last between 30 and 60 hours, depending on the person’s blood alcohol content during the arrest. Programs may cost an estimated $600. 

Insurance premiums  

Your current insurance provider will learn about your conviction. With a DUI on your driving record, you become an at-risk driver, which often results in higher insurance premiums. The amount of the increase can vary, but it is likely that those higher premiums will last several years, long after you have paid the other costs for your DUI conviction.