One of the reasons people decide to drive under the influence is the deterring costs of taxis, towing, or overnight parking. Sure, you’ve had a few beers, but it would be a hassle to get your car back from the street you parked on. And it might not even be there the next morning!
The reality is, getting charged and convicted of a DWI is way more expensive than any towing or overnight parking service. If you have recently been charged with DWI, you already know the financial strain and rising costs of the charge: the towing company to get your car after your arrest, jail fees, bail, and so on.
The really big costs, however, come with a conviction. It is estimated that a DWI conviction in Minnesota can cost up to $10,000.
Breaking Down the Cost of DWI Penalties
When you are charged with a DWI, you already face the possibility of a $1,000 fine, even if no one was injured by your actions and there are no additional charges.
The penalties for DWI in Minnesota include up to 90 days in jail, a fee of $1,000, an interlock ignition device, or the suspension of your license for up to 90 days. While the fine is an obvious blow to your budget, the other penalties have associated costs as well:
Up to 90 days in Jail – If you are incarcerated for your DWI, you will have to take off of work and lose pay for the time you are in jail. That is, of course, if you are still able to keep your job after a DUI conviction.
Interlock Ignition Device – You may have to install this device in your car to make sure that you are not driving under the influence. What is an IID? Imagine a breathalyzer that starts your car… or prevents it from starting if it detects alcohol. This has fees attached too – an ignition interlock device can cost around $125 a month.
License Suspension – If your license is suspended, you will have to reinstate it and pay a $680 fee. You will also have to complete a license application, a DWI knowledge test, and a chemical assessment. Chemical assessments typically come with a fee of around $35. Plus, depending on your commute to work, you may have to pay extra for rideshares, public transportation, or storing your car.
Other Costs to Consider
A DWI conviction may follow you for a long time. While there are possibilities that it will come up in internet searches or job applications, there is no doubt that it will come up when handling your car insurance. In Minnesota, your auto insurance premium may double after a DWI. In other words, you’re going to have to budget out a lot more for your monthly payments.
The best way to prevent these costs is to stay sober while behind the wheel. But if you have been charged with a DWI, it’s time to put together a solid defense and prevent any more fees.
While the idea of hiring a lawyer for your case may sound pricy at first, an experienced lawyer is an investment in your future. Fighting against a DWI charge may be one of the most cost-effective choices you can make. Give us a call today for a free consultation on your case.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2016), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2016), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2016).