DWI/DUI Can Cost $20,000

A first offense conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or while intoxicated (DWI) can cost a driver up to $20,000 in legal fees and related expenses, according to a criminal justice expert.

Thomas von Hemert calculated the costs based on data from 18 agencies, groups and companies. His resulting estimate includes the cost of posting bail, vehicle towing, fines and court costs. However, most of the cost is to hire a lawyer and pay higher insurance premiums. It excludes damage to the car, other property damage, or possible medical costs.

It’s clearly important to avoid DWI/DUI not only for safety sake but also to avoid the high costs associated with a conviction. Even if a driver is innocent, a charge of DWI/DUI can be very expensive. Legal costs can be higher to defend against a charge because of extended legal procedures that might also include costs of appealing an unfavorable finding as well as the cost of hiring one or more expert witnesses.

To reduce the chances of being charged with DUI/DWI, visit Alcohol Breath Analyzer Accuracy .


  • Driving drunk can cost $20,000. Washington Times, 1-1-04, p. B2.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving