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The Financial Impact of a DUI ConvictionMore than a million people in the U.S. are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol each year. In Illinois, 27,046 people were arrested on DUI charges in 2017 alone. In the event of a DUI charge, it is important to act quickly in order to avoid potential jail-time, fines, and loss of driving privileges. Outside of the criminal punishment of a DUI, the monetary impact of a conviction can be significant. Below we will explore the true cost of a DUI. 

What a Conviction Can Cost

As you prepare to go through the court process, you need to understand the hidden expenses that accompany a DUI conviction. In many cases, these expenses can seriously impact your family’s livelihood. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the average cost of a DUI conviction is $18,030. After a DUI charge, most people view the monetary impacts of a potential conviction solely in terms of fines. While these fines can be significant (a first-time DUI conviction comes with a minimum fine of $500), the most costly expenses of a conviction are rarely talked about:

  • Your insurance payments can rise by a final cost of $6,000;
  • Court costs, including the fine, reimbursement for law enforcement, and court fees, can end up being as much as $3,500; and
  • If you are eligible for a restricted driving permit, the purchase and installation of a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) can cost upwards of $1,000. 

Yet, some of the most significant financial ramifications of a conviction come in lost work hours. After a conviction, most offenders are unable to work due to time spent in jail or hours spent performing community service. In lost work hours alone, the average Illinoisan can lose more than $4,000 in income. Fortunately, with quality legal representation, you may be able to avoid a conviction altogether.  

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