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The hidden costs of a DUI in Texas

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2022 | DUI

Most of us recognize that getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to certain consequences – such as jail time and being prohibited from driving for a time. But you may be unaware of the financial toll such a conviction can take on you. In today’s post, we break down some of the less commonly understood costs of a DUI:

Court fees

If you are convicted, you will incur all costs associated with your appearance in court – which will usually run between $200 and $1,500. In addition, Texas law specifies additional fees for those convicted of a DUI: from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on whether or not it’s your first offense. Finally, you or a loved one may have to post bail in order to release you from jail before your trial date. This usually costs between $2,000 and $10,000.

Vehicle fees

Getting convicted of a DUI also means you’ll temporarily lose your driver’s license and car. You’ll need to pay for license reinstatement ($1,000 – $2,000, depending on previous convictions), as well as the cost of towing ($250 – $450), impounding ($20) and storing your vehicle ($5 – $20 per day).

Beyond that, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car, which can cost you $70 – $100 per month. Drivers with a DUI on their record will also have to pay higher auto insurance premiums. In Texas, the average increase in premiums is 54%.

Treatment fees

Under Texas law, if you’re convicted of a DUI, you will have to attend a court-selected drug or alcohol treatment program. This costs between $70 and $185, depending on the type of program mandated, and whether it’s your first offense.

Punitive fees

If a child was in the vehicle with you when you were arrested for a DUI, you could face additional child endangerment charges. This could lead to an extra fine of up to $10,000.

What you can do

It’s important to remember that all of these fees go into effect only if you’re convicted of a DUI. Being arrested and charged does not automatically lead to a conviction. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney working on your case from the moment you get arrested. They have an abundance of tools at their disposal to help you avoid a conviction.