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Cost of a DUI

The financial cost of a teen's first DUI is staggering. Here's the breakdown, but keep in mind that this is just the bare minimum. This list doesn't include costs if someone is killed—or the guilt your teen will live with for the rest of his or her life.

The financial cost of a DUI
Cost of annual auto insurance increase over 13 years $40,000
DUI classes $650
Towing and storage fee ($137 a day) $685 (at least 5 days)
Fines and attorney fees $4,000
DMV reinstatement fee $100
Estimated Minimum total $45,435

Remember that these fees are the least you would pay. They don't include hospital care for the person your teen hurt, the emotional and physical costs, the inability to get a job because of the DUI record, or the award from any lawsuit resulting from a death. All together, those costs could total millions of dollars.

The time spent dealing with the consequences resulting from a DUI is time lost in a teen's life, keeping your teen from reaching his or her goals. Here's the time breakdown.

Time spent dealing with the consequences resulting from a DUI
Average time of license suspension 3 months for adults, 12 months for teens
Average time in jail 6 months
Average years on probation 3 years
Number of years with two points on driving record 13 years
DUI classes 6 months
Time in court Several months
Convicted of murder Possible lifetime imprisonment
Plus, can you imagine your teen being handicapped or maimed? Suffering a lifetime of guilt and pain because of harming or killing someone? Having trouble getting a good job or getting into college because of a DUI conviction?

In a nutshell, your teen's drinking and driving could cause you to:

  • Pay fines and fees of more than $55,000;
  • Pay huge increases in insurance premiums;
  • Pay for a costly and time-consuming alcohol abuse program for your teen; and
  • Have a teen with a criminal record for a DUI.

DUI penalties for those 21 years and older also can be severe. They include:

  • Mandatory jail time;
  • Substantial fines and fees;
  • Suspension or revocation of driver's license;
  • Restrictions on when and for what purposes one may drive;
  • Being assigned to an alcohol or drug treatment program;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock devise on a car; and
  • Impoundment of a car.

A first DUI offense requires an adult offender to be:

  • Jailed for at least 48 hours;
  • Fined substantially;
  • Restricted to driving only to and from work or an alcohol treatment program;
  • Ordered to attend a three-month or six-month alcohol treatment program;
  • Required to file proof of insurance with the Department of Motor Vehicles; and
  • Required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on one's vehicle. The person must blow into the IID to check his or her BAC each time the car is started. Maintenance costs for the IID are paid by the offender.