While going out for a few drinks with friends isn’t very expensive, the costs of driving while intoxicated are often much higher than people realize. Not only are you putting your life and the lives around you at risk, but there are also high fees associated with legal fees, fines, license suspension and reinstation, drug and alcohol treatment classes, and more.
A blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher can result in an OUI charge and will cost you thousands more than the $30 you just spent on drinks at the bar.
What Are the Costs Associated with an OUI Conviction?
Most first and second offenses for OUI charges are charged as misdemeanors and carry lower fees and fines, but third, fourth, and fifth offenses can be charged as a felony and result in jail time.
- Fines – The fines of an OUI depend on the severity of the charge but there is a minimum of $50 with some fines as high as $50,000.
- Jail Time and/or Bail – There is a daily fee that adds up over time when an individual is incarcerated, and the individual is required to pay these fines. If the individual is released on bail, which the individual or family member will have to pay the entire bail or post a bond. If the individual does not appear for court, the bail or bond is forfeited.
- Attorney Fees – When facing an OUI charge, you will need an attorney, even if it’s the first offense. These fees will vary depending on the attorney and the logistics of the case.
- License Suspension and Reissue Fees – When charged with an OUI, there is an automatic license suspension ranging from 30 days to 10 years, depending on the charge. Once the individual’s driver’s license can be instated, they will have to pay a reinstatement fee which can range from $100 to $1,200.
- Drug and Alcohol Treatment Classes – In some cases, the court will require the individual facing the OUI charge to complete drug and alcohol treatment classes, which will be part of the sentence or probation requirements. All fees associated with these classes will be paid by the defendant.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) – An OUI offender might be required to use an Ignition Interlock Device, especially if it is their second offense. These devices have an installation fee and monthly monitoring fee.
- Higher Insurance Premiums – Once the driver’s license is reinstated, insurance companies will increase premium rates for those convicted of an OUI. These increases will depend on the circumstances of the OUI, the number of offenses, and the existing driving record.
- Loss of Job/Income – After being convicted of an OUI, some employers will refuse to continue employment for that individual. In this case, there would be a loss of income and the conviction could make it difficult to obtain future employment.
If you are facing an OUI conviction, contact our team at Urbelis Law at (617) 830-2188.