Law enforcement agencies and safety advocates have gone to tremendous lengths to remind Americans about the consequences of a DUI conviction. If you listen to the radio, use social media, or watch TV, it's likely that you've seen many local and national campaigns that stress the serious repercussions of being arrested for driving under the influence. By now, you know that DUI is a serious criminal offense with serious criminal penalties. But how serious are these penalties to your wallet?
The simple truth is that DUI convictions can be incredibly costly. Aside from the costs of dealing with the aftermath of a DUI arrest – such as missing time from work to make court appearances and traveling to and from court and the Georgia Department of Driver Services – being convicted of a DUI offense can create a whole host of financial setbacks.
The most common costs associated with a DUI conviction include:
- Criminal fines
- Court fees
- Costs of DUI education classes
In addition to the general costs of a conviction that most people are familiar with, there are also several hidden expenses. These expenses can persist long after an arrest and conviction and can significantly impact an individual's personal and financial life.
Hidden DUI expenses include:
- Costs of Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) – Convicted drivers will need to pay for installation and removal fees and will often be required to pay for periodic calibration of the machine, which could be an added monthly expense.
- Increased Insurance Premiums – Insurance companies are in business to make money, and will view DUI convictions negatively. Additionally, points added to a license will nearly always result in increased insurance premiums, which can quickly add up over time.
- Transportation Costs – License suspensions are often one of the most difficult consequences of a DUI conviction. Paying for public transportation or rides from friends can be expensive.
- Community Service / Imprisonment– Community service is a common penalty for drivers convicted for DUI. In many cases, individuals are required to pay some fees associated with fulfilling their community service requirements. Time away from work to participate in community service or serve a jail or prison sentence will also be costly.
- Employment – DUI convictions have the potential to impact one's employment and education opportunities, especially if one has a professional license or a job that requires them to drive. Losing a job or being turned away from a position or school can be one of the most devastating financial consequences of a DUI conviction.
The ongoing expenses and costs of a DUI conviction show just how serious the penalties really are. Considering these consequences can also help you understand why it's important to work with experienced DUI attorneys who have the experience and ability to fight your charges. At the Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub, our Atlanta DUI lawyers fight not only to protect our clients' freedoms, but their finances and futures as well.
To discuss your DUI case with a member of our legal team, call 404-907-1536 or contact us online.