Utah takes DUI charges very seriously. Not only will a conviction yield consequences such as jail, fines, community service, an Ignition Interlock Device, and probation, but there are also several other collateral consequences of being charged with DUI as well as being convicted. A DUI charge can be very expensive when you add up all the costs of DUI.
The Utah Legislature has imposed minimum required fines for DUIs. The fine changes depending how many DUIs a person has had in the past 10 years. For a first DUI the fine is $700 plus a 90% surcharge and a $40 court security fee for a first DUI. That is a total of $1370, but judges often impose a total of $1405. The fine is $800 + $720 surcharge + $40 security fee for a second DUI within 10 years and $1500 + $1350 surcharge and $40 security fee for a third DUI in 10 years. The total fines result in a $1560 fine for a second DUI and $1890 for a third DUI in 10 years.
When a police officer arrests a person for DUI the officer will almost always have a truck come tow the car to the impound lot. Every once in a while the police officer will allow the arrested person to make a phone call to a relative or friend who lives close to the place of the arrest. This friend or relative can pick up the car to avoid the towing and impound fees. Once the car is towed, it is impounded and then you have to pay about $750 for the towing and impound fees.
When you are booked into jail you may qualify to be released from jail on your own recognizance or released to pretrial services for supervision. However, oftentimes you will be required to post a bail or a bond before you are released from jail. For a first DUI this bail can run between $1500 and $5000. For a second DUI the bail will probably be in the same range. However, for a third DUI in 10 years that is enhanced to a felony the bail amount will likely be $25,000 or higher.
Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee
If your driver license is suspended the Driver License Division (DLD) will require you to pay a reinstatement fee. This fee is usually about $235 for the administrative fee and the reinstatement fee.
Ignition Interlock Device
As a result of an alcohol related DUI conviction you will become an Interlock Restricted Driver. This means that you are prohibited from driving any car that is not equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device. Such a device costs about $35 to install and monitoring runs about $60 – $80 each month for 18 months. That is a total of $1080 – $1440.
Drug or Alcohol Treatment
When a person is convicted of DUI the judge is required to order them to complete a substance abuse evaluation which costs about $80. If the evaluation calls for treatment then the person is required complete any recommended treatment. At the very least the judge must require the person to complete a 16 hour educational series. This educational series is often called Prime for Life and costs about $175. Additional Intensive outpatient treatment may be recommended which can include weekly individual or group therapy sessions for up to a year. This can cost around $50/week. Treatment can even be as intense as requiring inpatient treatment. This is only in very extreme cases and can cost upwards of $15,000.
Automobile Insurance Premium
Any increase in your auto insurance will be specific to your insurance agency. Generally, local insurance agents are very willing to let you know if a DUI will increase your insurance.
Attorney’s fees can vary greatly depending their experience, training, reputation, and how busy they are. Some attorneys who are just out of law school and are just trying to pick up a few cases will offer to handle a DUI case for $1500 or less. Other attorneys who handle lots of cases and are very busy could take your case or the next case that comes in the door for $4000. Most DUI Attorneys charge between $1800 and $2600 for a first DUI. A second DUI usually ranges from $2500 to $3500. A third DUI, which will likely be charged as a felony, will usually start at $3500.
On the low end, without an attorney, no bail, and no increase in your auto insurance, for a first DUI you are looking at about $3690. With all of those things added in the upper end for a first DUI is about $7390.
Many of these expenses are due up front such as bail, impound fee, attorney’s fee, and treatment costs. However, other expenses can be paid overtime like fines, interlock fees, increased insurance premiums.
The consequences for a DUI can be very steep. An attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to avoid some of the costs associated with a DUI conviction. Ideally, your attorney will be able to avoid a DUI conviction all together by working out a plea bargain to reduce the DUI to an Impaired Driving charge or something even more beneficial.