High Caliber Legal Service

How much does a DUI cost in Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Criminal Law |

If you get arrested for drunk driving, you’re probably worried about a lot of things – such as getting sent to jail or having a conviction on your permanent criminal record. But most people are unaware of how expensive a driving-under-the-influence (DUI) conviction can also be.

In today’s post, we break down many of the hidden costs associated with a DUI:

  • Court costs: If you’re convicted of a DUI, you can expect to pay $200 – $1500 for fees associated with appearing in court.
  • Court-imposed fines: Texas law establishes a schedule of fees for those convicted of a DUI, starting at $2,000 for first-time offenders and going all the way up to $10,000:
  • Child in the car: If you are caught driving under the influence with a child under 15 in car, you could also be charged with child endangerment and have to pay an additional $10,000.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement: If you’re driver’s license has been suspended, you’ll need to pay an annual surcharge for three years to get it back. For first-time offenders, the surcharge is $1,000 per year, but can go up to $2,000, depending on the number of previous convictions.
  • Probation fees: Regardless of whether you serve time in jail, a conviction means you will have to be on probation. You’ll have to pay a monthly probation fee (usually $60 – $100 per month) for the duration of your probation – which is usually six to 12 months for first-time offenders.
  • Alcohol education and treatment program fees: Texas law requires anyone convicted of a DUI to attend – and pay for – an alcohol education program. This course costs $70 for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders are required to take a more in-depth course for $185.
  • Ignition interlock: If you are a repeat offender, you will likely be required to install an ignition interlock system into your car. You’ll incur the cost of this system, which is usually $70 – $100 per month.
  • Bail: You or a family member may have to post bail in order to release you from jail before your court date. This will typically run anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
  • Car insurance premiums: If you have a DUI on your record, you can expect your insurance premiums to spike significantly. In Texas, the average insurance premium increase is 54%.
  • Towing and impounding fees: When you get convicted of a DUI, your vehicle will usually be towed and impounded. The cost of a tow can range from $250 to $450. The impounding fee is around $20, plus a daily vehicle storage fee of $50 – $20 per day.

Most of us don’t have thousands of extra dollars lying around for a rainy day. A DUI has the potential to destroy your financial outlook – in addition to putting a black mark on your criminal record.

This is just one more reason it’s so important to get in touch with an experienced defense attorney if you’re facing criminal charges of any kind. Having an advocate on your side can make a huge difference in avoiding a conviction – and possibly getting your charges dropped all together.

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