If the police give you a DUI ticket, finding a way to contest the charge is crucial. While mounting a defense costs money, it will be money well spent when you weigh it up.
Loss of earnings is one area where a DUI can hit hard. If you spend time in jail, you cannot work. Driving can be an integral part of many jobs, so, once you get out, even an understanding employer may struggle to give you work. For instance, you work as an electrician visiting people’s houses. A license suspension makes that impossible.
What is the total cost of a first-time DUI?
Here are some of the expenses you will face if convicted of a DUI:
- The initial fine: A DUI will result in a fine of at least $350 if it is your first offense. It could be much more.
- An ignition interlock device: You will have to fit one if charged with a DUI. This costs around $1,000 per year
- Higher insurance premiums: One report found Tennessee drivers faced a 46% increase after a DUI. That will apply for several years. Based on the average cost of insurance, that equates to an extra $723 per year.
- Filing an SR-22: The state requires people with certain convictions such as a DUI to register an SR-22 form to show adequate insurance. You will pay $25 to do so.
Adding it all up, even if a court gives the minimum fine, a first-time DUI offense will cost you $2,000 in the first year alone. That is before you take into account any effect on your ability to work. Defending a DUI may not be straightforward, yet neither is replacing the money you will lose if convicted.