The Hidden Cost of a DUI

Do you have $10,000 to spend on a DUI?

Imagine if you had an extra $10,000 to spend any way you wanted; how would it be spent and why? Maybe it could be a down payment on a car, be put toward a student loan, or go toward home renovation.

Would you want that $10,000 to be earmarked for the costs associated with a DUI violation?

In the state of Georgia, a violation of the DUI laws can cost first-time offenders at least $10,000 when accounting for fines and attorney fees. That’s money that can be used for other necessities, not to mention the intangible cost of a DUI that has a long-lasting impact on your career and family.

The Basics

In the state of Georgia, you can be in violation of the DUI laws if you are considered under the influence.

There are two ways drivers can be in violation of DUI laws:

An officer determines you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the extent that it is less safe to drive

A DUI ‘Per Se’ in which your chemical test (blood or breath) result in a 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

The Financial Cost for a First Offense

1. Possible jail time for up to one year.

2. Bail

$150 – $2,500 this depends on how many offenses you have had, circumstances of your arrest, and your BAC level.

3. Towing/Impound

$50 – $200 this can add up daily.

4. Fine of $300 minimum, up to $5,000.

5. Probation fees

6. License suspension of up to one year and a $210 license reinstatement fee

7. Alcohol evaluation

$95 – $300 this is required by anyone who is sentenced by the court for drunk driving.

8. Alcohol Education and Treatment

$500 – $4,000 for basic treatment.

9. Forty hours of community service, minimum mandatory.

10. Legal Fees

$2,000 – $25,000.

11. Possible restitution for property damage and medical bills.

12. If you were arrested in another state, airline flight or mileage costs.

13. Increased auto insurance for at least 3- 7 years

14. Most people facing a DUI in Georgia also face other tickets associated with the case

These could include speeding, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, and following too closely, to name just a few. Add the cost of those tickets to the above list, and the overall cost of a DUI may be close to $10,000, if not more!

The Intangible Cost of a DUI

As if the drain on your financials wasn’t enough, there are the costs that go unseen as a result of a DUI. 

Professional Ramifications

  • Your career could take a hit if you must take time to attend court, possibly go to prison, do community service, and attend DUI school and counseling sessions, all of which can take up a considerable amount of unpaid time.
  • If you hold a professional license, you will have to disclose your DUI upon renewal.
  • For a salesperson with a company car or who are fleet insured, a DUI will likely end your position within the company.

High Probability of Death

Finally, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher). No one wants to lose their life due to being involved in a drunk driving incident. Therefore, think twice about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol because the financial and intangible costs are excessive.


SWWW has extensive experience in the representation of clients charged with DUI and has helped clients successfully navigate the process from administrative license suspension appeals through criminal trials and subsequent appeals. If you have been charged with a DUI and would like a case evaluation, call us at 1-855-505-7999 to schedule a legal consultation.