DWI Convictions are Costly

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious and expensive crime, even in the case of a first-time offender age 21 or older in which there is no crash, injury or death.

The minimum cost of a first conviction for DWI in New York State is estimated at $9,500. Similar estimates of minimum costs can be made for other states.

DWI in New York State (Estimated)

Attorney fees: $2,500  
Insurance pool surcharge: $4,500  
Additional Insurance Cost: $1,500  
Fines: $500 (average)
Alcohol Evaluation/Treatment: $500  
Minimum Cost: $9,500 1

Other States

New Jersey: $9,185 2
Texas: $10,707 3
Washington: $7,700 4
Missouri: $4,686 5
Louisiana: $4,500 6

To find an estimate from another state for the minimum cost of a DWI, simply enter “DWI Conviction Cost” and the name of the state in a search engine such as Google.

There are also other costs often associated with a first-time DWI conviction, including

  • Lost time from work for trial, meeting with probation officer, lawyer, insurance agent, and treatment
  • Social stigma
  • Possible loss of job
  • Incarceration in some states

In the event someone is injured or killed the financial and other costs of a DWI escalate dramatically.

Never drive while impaired or intoxicated. Driving while drunk is completely preventable. You can abstain, moderate your drinking, or use a designated driver to avoid arrest for DWI/DUI.

This page is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice or opinion, and must not be relied upon for any purpose. For any legal information, opinion or advice, always consult a qualified attorney.


  • 1. Erie County Stop-DWI (http://www.erie.gov/stopdwi/conviction_cost.asp)
  • 2. What’s My New Jersey DWI Going to Cost? (http://www.nj-dmv-dwi.com/parts/nj-dwi-cost.html)
  • 3. Texas DWI Cost (www.drunkdrivingdefense.com/texas-dwi-attorney-gibson/dwi-cost.html)
  • 4. Our Views: Don’t drink and drive. The Olympian, December 20, 2004.
  • 5. Drinking and Driving Costs (www.dmh.missouri.gov/ada/satop/facts/dwicosts.htm)
  • 6. Louisiana Department of State (www.dps.state.la.us/tiger/alced.html)

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving