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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  1. Peter

    There is also help online at http://FightDUIcharges.com for people facing a DUI and how to pay their fees. It’s worth checking out since the service is free and most people do need assistance when paying for the unexpected costs of fighting a DUI case.

    February 24th, 2013 12:39 am

  2. xibajal

    the hidden costs involve the insurance rate increases. if you’re not careful, ur gonna have to pay $500/month on insurance.

    to offset this, u gotta go with an insurance company that won’t check ur driving record. 4autoinsurancequote is one i know of that doesn’t check. there are probably some more out there too if you google.

    January 6th, 2014 8:20 pm

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