Virtually every day the Sonoma County CHP issues a news release reporting its latest DUI arrests. This Friday, the county’s Avoid the 13 anti-DUI task force begins a two-week crackdown, including checkpoints. Last year, 3,073 DUI cases were filed in the county, court records show.
So what’s the cost if you get a DUI?
James Sansone, a Santa Rosa attorney who handles a variety of cases, including DUIs, offers some insight. While he notes every case is a bit different, he says generally for someone convicted of their first DUI the court-related costs break down this way:
–$2,000 to $3,000 is the average for attorney fees.
–$2,100 in court fees and costs. He said the standard plea deal with the county District Attorney’s Office is for a driver whose blood alcohol level was less than 0.15, whose driving wasn’t overly reckless and who caused no property damage or injury. The penalty also typically calls for two days in the county jail served through the work release program, attending a three-month DUI program and being placed on informal court probation for three years.
–The DMV will suspend your license for four months — a year if it’s not a first offense.
And then there are other costs:
–The biggest cost, your insurance will skyrocket. While the increase depends on the driver’s record, a local Allstate representative said a first-time offender in general could see his or her insurance premium double. And that’s not just a one-year hit. Over several years, the higher premium could add up to thousands of dollars.
–Towing of your car, paying for cabs or other ways to get around after your lose your license and the list goes on.
What’s the grand total? It varies by person, but it seems that for a first-time offense it’s around $10,000 or more.
For more information about how the DMV deals with DUIs, CLICK HERE.
To read what the state Vehicle Code says about DUIs, CLICK HERE.
To see statewide arrest stats and such, CLICK HERE.
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