Restoring Your Child’s Future

Costs & Fees Associated With DUI Charges

A Friday night on the town is supposed to be an enjoyable way to end the work week. However, when the night ends with blue and red flashing lights behind you and a DUI charge, you may end up needing to find another job to pay for the costs and fees that go along with a DUI charge, even if you aren't convicted. A DUI arrest can have a huge negative impact on your wallet. Here are a few things that will cost you within the first several days of a DUI charge. 

Car Impound Lot 

When there's an arrest for a DUI, the car is usually impounded by law enforcement. However, if there is a sober passenger or someone who can be called to drive the car away, the car may not be impounded. Sometimes, although rare, the car may be kept as evidence, which can add to the impound fees if the fees are compounded by time. If the car is impounded, the owner will need to pay an impound fee to get the car out of the impound lot, which can usually be done after the owner is released from jail after their initial hearing, but only if the driver is sober.

If your driver's license is immediately suspended upon the DUI charge, you will need to wait until you obtain an amended driver's license before you can drive your car out of the impound lot. Typically, the impound lot is at a different location than where the individual is held while waiting for their hearing, which may mean additional expenses of hiring a taxi or paying to use public transportation to go to the impound lot. 

Amended Driver's License 

Most states recognize that people need to be able to drive so they can go to work and do things like take their children to doctor's appointments. Because of this, they provide those with DUI charges the ability to obtain an amended driver's license, which is not free. With an amended driver's license, you are limited to only being able to drive to and from work and to run necessary errands. The determination factor that the state's Department of Transportation uses is the DUI charge itself, regardless of whether or not there is a conviction. 

Sometimes, depending on state laws and the severity of the DUI charges, drivers may need to attend driver's training and sobriety classes before they are issued an amended driver's license. In most states, the only way to obtain an amended driver's license is to have a ignition interlock device installed in the car, which also adds additional expenses for installation, as well as a monthly fee for service. 

Car Insurance 

Depending on your state's laws and the policies of your insurance company, your insurance coverage may be cancelled due to a DUI charge, even if you are not convicted. At the very least, a DUI charge can increase your insurance premiums because you will be considered as a high-risk driver. If your insurance company does allow you to keep a policy with them, they may change the terms of the policy so you will only be covered in limited driving situations. 

If your car insurance is cancelled, you will need to find another insurance company to cover you. One key thing to understand about this is that insurance companies report cancellations to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, and these records are checked before cars are permitted to be driven out of impound lots and ignition interlock devices are installed. 

In conclusion, as you can see, navigating through all of this can be extremely difficult because they can all impact each other in some way. Therefore, hire an attorney to guide you through the appropriate steps and procedures instead of attempting to do it all on your own. Contact a law firm that offers DUI attorney services to learn more.