Getting arrested and convicted for a DUI is an expensive endeavor.
The costs go well beyond the legal fees and the fine and court costs. Here’s what I ended up paying:
DUI Lawyer: $3500
I was quoted $2000-3800 and chose the lawyer I was most comfortable with, who also dedicated a majority of his practice to DUI cases.
RELATED: 4 Tips on Finding a DUI Attorney
VASAP fee: $400
This is the standard fee for the basic and intensive VASAP 10 week courses. If your convicted BAC is higher than a 0.15 and/or you are determined to have a drinking problem, you could be subject to additional classes, which cost even more. I got lucky and was excluded from additional classes as my BAC was stricken from my plea, and I was determined to NOT have a drinking problem.
RELATED: Enrollment into VASAP
Impoundment Fee: NA
Most people have their vehicles impounded when arrested for a DUI. This happens when the vehicle is parked somewhere that is not considered a public space. I ended up in an unrestricted public street space when I got pulled over, so the police officer left my vehicle there, thus saving me of this additional expense.
The fine for a DWI/DUI first time offense is a minimum $250 and maximum $2500. Mine was higher than the minimum because my BAC, even though stricken from my plea, was higher than 0.15.
Court Costs: $241
I have been unable to figure conclusively how court costs are determined in Virginia. The costs seem to be unique to each individual case. I believe that my jail time was paid for out of these costs.
Interlock Device: $606
This was payable directly to the interlock service provider in monthly installments of $100.99. Installation was free, with the device rental costing $69.04, insurance $7.36 and the VASAP monitoring fee of $20. Insurance is recommended, as the devices can cost as much as $3500, and you are responsible for damage or loss.
RELATED: Living With an Interlock Device
This is the standard cost to reinstate a license when suspended for a DUI. This is paid when you pick up your hard restricted license, after you have enrolled in VASAP and had your interlock device installed.
Uber rides while without a license: $210
Yeah, you need to consider this. I took Uber to work multiple times during the administrative license suspension period and then again when I was waiting on my interlock install. I was lucky in that UberX fees are not too crazy in my area, but still, it added up. But remember: this is still much cheaper than getting caught driving without a license and losing your eligibility for a restricted license.
Lesson learned: a DUI is a costly endeavor. I’ll be paying for this for a long time.
Even if you are arrested, but not convicted, you will be paying for a lawyer, the impound fee if applicable, and Uber rides while on your administrative license suspension.
If I could go back, I would have walked home in the rain, called my roommates, or used Uber and picked up my car in the morning. Even if my car had been towed, the impound fee would have been a fraction of my total DUI costs.
Don’t drink and drive. It’s just not worth it.