Just about every driver on the road is aware that a DUI is a pretty bad thing and can have a fallout that lasts a long, long time, including a restricted drivers license, court visits, and more. But there's a side to getting a DUI that most people don't even realize until it's on them: finances. A DUI doesn't go on your credit score, but it most certainly will have an impact on your finances. Here's a look at three ways that getting a DUI will impact your finances through things you'll have to pay for.
Alcohol Education Classes Many states require DUI offenders to participate in a drunk driving education class or DUI school. Most of these classes start at about $300 to $500 for first time offenders, but costs can skyrocket into thousands of dollars a class for repeat offenders who need a longer course. Most alcohol education schools do require full payment up front. A few of these schools do offer payment plans, but the full amount of the course must be paid before the course is over. Missing one payment will mean you're kicked out of the class, and missing class could lead to more court charges.
Fines and Court Costs Depending on whether it's a first offense or a repeat offense, depending on the blood alcohol content of the offender, and depending on what state the offense occurs in, court costs in a DUI case can range from a few hundred to over $10,000 dollars. While most jurisdictions will accept a credit card for payment of court costs, be prepared to have a "convenience fee" added on.
Increased Auto Insurance It's not a surprise to most people that a DUI will mean an increased auto insurance premium. What is a surprise though, is just how much - and how long. Again, depending on the specifics of the case, a DUI can double, triple, or even quadruple a car insurance payment. In most states, a DUI will stay on your record for five years. And when it shows up that you're paying more for your car insurance, that will raise your credit score. And the increased credit score means you're paying more for auto insurance. Especially when it comes to auto insurance, a DUI is a vicious cycle that will have ramifications for years to come.
If you've been convicted of a DUI, your best bet is to contact a criminal lawyer like one from Cross, LaCross, & Murphy PLLC to help you sort through the issues to come. A criminal attorney knows exactly how to deal with the legal aspect of a DUI and knows how to help their clients get through the process as painlessly as possible.