Sure, there’s the money spent on an attorney, the cost of which may vary in and of itself. There are the fines and fees imposed by the court, whatever that may be. But do people really consider how much a first time misdemeanor DUI will costs?
The Los Angeles Times has reported that the total cost of a first time misdemeanor DUI in California can cost nearly $16,000. According to the Los Angeles Times, this is up a whopping 29% from 2011. The Automobile Club of Southern California calculated the estimated costs of a first time misdemeanor by adding up the mandated state and local fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and increased insurance costs. The calculation does not include costs associated with lost wages from jail time or lost employment, bail, injuries, or the installation of an ignition interlock device.
According to the Automobile Club, the estimated tally is as follows:
Vehicle Tow/Storage $350
Alcohol Ed Classes $575
Victim Rest. Fund $140
DMV License Re-Issue $125
Auto Ins. Increase $10,154
Attorney/Legal Fees $2,500
More than half of the total comes from the increase in car insurance. According to Automobile Club spokesperson, Elaine Beno, the car insurance total was based on what would be the premium increase for a 25 year old male over a 10 year period.
It should also be noted the cost of an attorney for a first time misdemeanor DUI can range from $1,000 to $7,500 depending on a number of factors including, but not limited to, extent of experience practicing law, extent of experience in DUI law, independent lab costs, and independent investigator and expert costs.
Before you go out for an evening of drinking, find alternative means to get home safe. Otherwise that $50 bar tab may turn into a $16,000 mistake.
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