Although many would say the real cost of a DUI has more to do with the compromised safety of oneself, passengers and other motorists in one's path. As this blog reported in March, roughly one-third of all Cook County traffic deaths between 1994 and 2008 were alcohol-related.
But in terms of real dollars, how much will a DUI conviction cost you?
Each case is different, so only a Chicago DUI lawyer can give you a more accurate estimate, but Chicago Now's Real Law Blog itemizes most of the costs a DUI offender typically shells out. The Chicago DUI attorney who writes the blog said most DUIs cost at least $1,500, and usually more.
But the blogger was just referring to legal fees. The Ill. Secretary of State's Office estimated that the typical DUI conviction costs drivers about $14,660 when everything, including higher insurance rates, is taken into consideration.
That's a lot of cash. Here's the breakdown, according to the Chicago Real Law Blog:
- Insurance: Convicted DUI offenders are required to get high-risk insurance for three years. About $4,500 ($1,500 annually).
- Fines: First offense can be $2,500.
- Towing/Court Fees: The cost to get your car out of impound, court fees and the mandatory contribution to a trauma center fund can total between $500 and $1000.
- BAIID: If you choose to drive with an alcohol-monitoring device, which requires proof of sobriety to start the car, it could cost about $600 for installation and fees.
- Classes/Alcohol Treatment: These can cost a few hundred dollars.
- Reinstatement of License: Through a number of procedures and fees, this can cost between $250 and $550.
- Legal Fees: As stated above, this can cost about $1,500.
- Time Off Work: This of course varies, depending on your job and availability of paid time off, but can really impact the wallet.
In other words, a DUI is very expensive. That means paying good money for an experienced and skilled Illinois DUI attorney may actually save you cash in the long-run, but the best policy is avoid driving drunk in the first place.
- DUI - Sentencing (FindLaw)
- Search Chicago DUI Attorneys (FindLaw)
- Illinois Ups the Ante for First-Time DUI Offenders (FindLaw's KnowledgeBase)