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DUI Cases Can Be Expensive – Here's Why

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Almost no one is prepared for the costs associated with a driving under the influence (DUI) case. While all types of criminal cases can be expensive to deal with, DUI cases find ways to cost defendants money that are surprising in their scope. Find out more below if you are convicted.


If you are offered bail—and many DUI offenders are—the cost of the bail will depend on the area, your record, and the arrest specifics. If this is your first DUI, you are likely to be offered bail, but it may cost several hundred dollars. That money is refunded at the end of the case if you follow all the bail rules.


In an attempt to ensure that you don't re-offend, some defendants are ordered to attend alcohol counseling. While Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a donation-only policy, mental health therapy is not cheap. Unless you have insurance that covers the cost, you can pay thousands for a course of therapy sessions.

Ignition Interlock and Other Monitoring Methods

The courts employ several methods to ensure compliance with avoiding drinking and driving. An ignition interlock device prevents drivers from starting the vehicle if they expel alcohol on their breath using the installed device. Expect to pay for the device to be installed and a monthly monitoring cost as well. Ankle bracelets, sweat monitors, and vehicle boots also cost a lot of money.

Driver's License

Your driving privileges could be suspended pending the case outcome. When you are cleared to begin driving again, expect the cost for the new license to be several times higher than a regular license. Hardship licenses are also more expensive than the usual licenses.

Court Costs

The justice system uses crimes like a DUI to charge defendants for a variety of costs and services. You may pay not only the usual court costs, which can vary, but also for various programs aimed at prevention. Victim's assistance programs and other alcohol and drug-related programs are funded, in part, by fees charged to defendants.


Court-ordered classes and seminars have become common in most places and each of these classes comes along with a charge. Alcohol-related issues are explored along with driving and safety classes. Nearly all defendants will encounter victim impact classes or videos where those negatively affect by DUI accidents tell their stories.

You can avoid almost all the above costs by speaking to a lawyer about your case. There is much that can be done to reduce and change your charges to also cut down on the amount of money you owe. Consult with a defense criminal lawyer to learn more.