The Real Cost of Driving While Intoxicated

The central government of the country runs many initiatives or programs to educate people on the costs involved in a DUI (Driving under the Influence of Alcohol) Case. All programs talk about how people should avoid driving while intoxicated. When someone gets injured or killed in this scenario, their families usually undergo massive emotional and financial losses.

The person involved in the accident can get imprisoned if the victim gets seriously injured or killed in the accident. There are different laws for various kinds of vehicles. These include cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

Key Points

  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are serious offenses that can lead to heavy fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, especially if the offense results in injury or death.
  • The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) varies by jurisdiction and type of driver; for private car owners in the U.S., it’s generally 0.08%, and for commercial drivers, it’s 0.04%.
  • The financial implications of a DUI case are substantial, including costs ranging from bail fees and towing charges to legal fees and substance abuse treatment, which can total thousands of dollars.
  • In addition to legal fees, DUI offenders may face other financial consequences, such as increased insurance premiums, responsibility and assessment fees, and even the possibility of having to pay out-of-pocket for punitive damages in case of a fatal accident.
  • Preventative measures, such as having a designated driver or using public transport, are strongly recommended to avoid the severe legal and financial repercussions associated with DUI offenses.

What does Driving While Intoxicated Mean?

The term “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI) refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances.

The level of impairment is typically determined by a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, but it can also include impairment from substances other than alcohol. The legal limit for BAC when driving varies by jurisdiction but is commonly set at 0.08% in many places.

A driving while intoxicated charge implies that the driver is incapable of operating a vehicle safely and poses a risk to themselves and others on the road. Penalties for a DWI can include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and whether it’s a first-time or repeat violation.

Driving while intoxicated with a bottle of whisky

What do you mean by Driving Under the Influence?

The legal age of drinking in the US is 21 years. The drinking and driving laws apply to different vehicles. These laws cater to both alcohol related accidents and drug-related accidents. In the US, if the blood alcohol concentration is less than the standard figure which is 0.8%, the private car owners can get charged with a DUI case.

For commercial drivers, the blood alcohol concentration is 0.4% for conviction. Any driver under the age of 21 years can get convicted for illegally consuming alcohol and alcohol present in his bloodstream.

Expenses for A DUI Case

  • The estimated expense for Bail or Bond for a DUI case is anywhere between 150 dollars to 2500 dollars. A higher fee is charged based on the severity of the case.
  • The fee involved for towing the car is between 105 dollars to 1200 dollars.
  • The court fees for first-time offenders are 2000 dollars or more but if the offense repeats more than 3 times the fee will change to an additional amount.
  • The lawyer’s fees are between 1500 dollars to 5000 dollars. All offenders who hire public defenders will pay an average of 1500 dollars depending on the severity of the case whereas private lawyers charge anywhere between 2500 dollars to 5000 dollars.
  • The expense for license and reinstatement, this fee depends on whether your license is revoked or suspended and are you prohibited from driving. The US government recommends such offenders use public transport for commuting instead of their vehicles as part of their punishment.
  • The substance abuse treatment costs between 1000 dollars to 3000 dollars on average. This means if you are a DUI offender you need to either take treatment, take classes to understand about harmful effects of substance abuse.
  • Urine and drug testing cost 25 dollars to 400 dollars each week. The DUI offender needs to submit these reports weekly till the court decides a punishment.
  • DUI offenders need to pay 500 dollars as a reinstitution fee to assist crime victims in the state crime fund.
  • The insurance premium for a DUI Offender increases after they are at fault in an accident. Drivers under the influence who are charged with a DUI are termed as High-Risk Drivers. After a DUI offense, the insurance premium tends to increase.
  • Drivers need to pay a responsibility and assessment fee which is required so that drivers do not repeat the same offense. The fee for this is anywhere between 100 dollars to 1000 dollars.
Stamping a legal document

Lawsuits from DUI Accidents

The legal fees associated with DUI convictions are just one aspect of the financial cost involved in DUI cases. You should have an automobile insurance policy that covers car accidents for negligent driving or when you are at fault. Intentional accidents that did kill someone are not covered in any insurance policy. If anyone files a police case against you for causing an accident, you will be charged after charges are proven. All drivers must know the consequences of driving under influence.

If anybody files a lawsuit claiming a personal injury where he specifies it was an intentional accident, the insurance company will not pay charges at your defense. Car insurance policies pay for your injuries caused in a car accident.

You can use this money to pay for either your medical treatment or the treatment of the person you have harmed in case of an unintentional accident.

If someone dies in a car accident because of your fault, you will have to pay the compensation out of your pocket. This is not covered under the compensatory damage section of the car insurance policy. This is termed punitive damage.

It makes sense to prevent the issues arising from a driving while intoxicated charge to take measures to avoid risky situations that can lead to a DUI arrest.


There is no specific estimate to settle these damages. However, the settlement depends on factors like severity of the injury, degree of fault by the offender, and the amount of monetary loss caused during the accident.

DUI offenses are considered serious offenses under the law. Breaking laws related to DUI is a serious offense and punishable.

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