Making the decision to drive after drinking can be a very expensive mistake in judgment. The average expense of a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest is approximately $10,000. This includes the bail, fines, towing and storage costs, DUI school costs, ignition interlock device (IID) installation costs and legal fees, among other things.s
Under California law, a person is driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater. If you are stopped and you have a breathalyzer reading of .08 or more, you will be arrested. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and you are stopped, you will be considered driving under the influence if your BAC is .04 or more. If you are under the age of 21 or on probation for a DUI, your BAC only has to be .01 or more to get arrested. Following the arrest, you will be taken to jail and booked, requiring bail to be released.
If at the time of the arrest you have a passenger 14 years old or younger in the vehicle, the fines and jail time will be enhanced. Enhancement will also apply to situations where you are exceeding the speed limit on a freeway by 30 mph or 20 mph on other roadways. Finally, if your BAC is .15 or more the fines and penalties will be enhanced.
Following the police stop, you will be asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests (FST) to evaluate your balance and coordination. Usually the officer has already reached a conclusion about your impairment at this point and you will be going to jail regardless of your performance. However, it will all be recorded for evidence on the camera in the patrol car.
As a first time DUI offender you will usually not face any jail time but this can depend on where the DUI occurred and any extenuating circumstances. You can expect a driver’s license suspension of several months and be ordered to attend a DUI school. Fines will be approximately $1,500 or more depending on other aggravating factors.
If you are a second, third or fourth time DUI offender you will face more serious fines and penalties. A second DUI will result in up to a year of jail timesand a two year driver’s license suspension, in addition to an eighteen month DUI school. Fines will normally exceed $1,500 and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. A third time DUI offender will get up to a year in jail and a three year driver’s license suspension, in addition to being ordered to attend DUI school. If you have more than three DUI convictions within the ten year look back period, you will face a felony DUI charge and be sent to prison for up to three years.
The cost of an attorney can be approximately $5,000 or more, depending on the charges. Towing and storage charges are roughly $500. Ignition interlock devices cost about $100 for installation and approximately $75 per month for monitoring. Fines will start at approximately $1,500. Having your driver’s license reinstated will cost approximately $125. In addition to these expenses, your vehicle insurance costs will skyrocket.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you need to seek advice from a California criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling DUI cases.
Ronald N. Hoffman, with Hoffman & Associates, has been a practicing criminal defense lawyer for nearly 40 years. We can help you like we have helped thousands of others.
Contact us through our website or call us direct at (323) 655-3900 to schedule a free initial consultation.
We have reasonable fee arrangements and a variety of payment plans. We also accept all major credit cards, checks and money orders.
Related Blog Posts:
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of A DUI?, Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog, December 24, 2012
What Are DUI Enhancements?, Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog, December 20, 2012