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How Much Will a DUI Conviction Cost You?

The costs of a DUI conviction can be exorbitant.

While there may be monetary fines and mandatory minimum jail sentences, the real costs of a drunken driving conviction may be the other costs associated with the charge.

For example, you may face a $500 fine for a first-time DUI conviction. However, the overall costs of defending your DUI charge will likely cost you almost $17,000. You can buy a new car with that. Here's a look at the breakdown of the costs, as provided by the Illinois Secretary of State:

  • Insurance rates. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will likely need to add high-risk insurance to your policy. This typically costs about $1,500 a year and you will need it for three years, totaling about $4,500.

  • Legal fees. Someone needs to pay your DUI attorney. Even if you enter a plea and seek a hardship driving license, you are looking at legal fees starting at about $2,000. If you go to trial, the fees will get much higher.

  • Court costs. This can include your monetary fine, court costs, towing fees, storage fees, etc. Plan to spend about $3,600 for all of these costs.

  • Lost income. If you have to miss work due to jail, time spent attending alcohol rehabilitation courses, or due to a license suspension, you can expect to miss wages of about $4,000 a year (based on an average annual salary of $55,000).

  • Rehab programs. You will also have to pay several hundred dollars for court-mandated courses like drug rehab and counseling. Look to spend roughly $250.

  • License reinstatement. You'll need to pay for a new license and a hearing to get the license. Expect a bill of approximately $600.

  • Ignition interlock installation and maintenance. This includes the cost to install, maintain, and apply for the device. These can easily total $1,500 or more.

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