DWI Associated Costs

Goals

To get details about the costs associated with DUI/DWI conviction in Bexar County TX and Texas as a whole; these costs will include legal, educational, healthcare costs along with any other alcohol-related issues involving children, such as public drunkenness or underage charges.

Early Findings

Our first round of reserch provided the following information:
  • DWI offenders pay their lawyers "between $1,000 and $5,000 for a simple case that doesn’t go to trial, and up to $10,000 for a case that does go in front of a judge."
  • "The court costs vary but often range between $200 and $1,500."
  • Court imposed fines also exist for DWI offenders; "first-time offenders arrested with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.15 face a maximum fine of $2,000, though the exact fine is based on either the plea arrangement made with the prosecution or the judge’s discretion (if the case goes to trial)."
  • "Aggravating factors increase this statutory maximum fine amount. For example, a second-time offender can be fined up to $4,000, and third-time offenders or those that commit intoxication assault or manslaughter can be fined up to $10,000."
There are liscense surcharge costs, too. These costs are close to the following estimates:
  • "First-time offenders face a $1,000 yearly fee (for a total of $3,000) ; second-time offenders are levied a $1,500 annual fee (for a total of $4,500) and anyone convicted of DWI with a BAC of more than 0.15 will have to pay a $2,000 yearly fee (for a total of $6,000).

Monthly Probation Fees

  • "While on probation, those convicted of DWI are required to pay monthly probation fees of between $60 and $100."

Education Program Costs

  • "Anyone who has been convicted of a first-time DWI offense in Texas can be ordered to participate in an Alcohol Education Program."
  • "This 12-hour course typically costs $70 and repeat offenders can be required to attend a DWI Intervention Program, a more extensive version of the class for first-time offenders; this 30-hour class carries a cost of $185."

Insurance Costs

  • Texas has special requirements for motor vehicle insurance costs, in cases where a license has been suspended due to a DWI conviction.
  • 'Restitution requested by the labs that perform blood alcohol analysis for the state typically costs around $180."
  • "A survey by the Texas Department of Transportation found that the average cost for a DWI arrest and conviction ranges from $9,000 to $24,000."

DUI Penalties

  • "Typical penalties for a DUI include a fine of up to $500, up to 40 hours of community service, mandatory alcohol awareness classes and a license suspension of up to 60 days."
  • "DUI costs can be broken down into court fees, education program fees, and other related fees; attorney’s fees and expenses (average $1,900; includes readers who had public defenders) , court-ordered fines (average $1,100) , increased car insurance rates (average $800 per year) , traffic school and alcohol education courses (average $360) , DMV fees (average $260) , ignition interlock devices (average $170) , towing and storage (average $170), and bail costs (average $150)."

Other Details

  • If one has a DWI as a permanent criminal record, then it can harm employment, education, accommodation opportunities (renting), loan or finance options, and other opportunities life has to offer.
  • "Besides future employment, a DWI conviction will be an obstacle for professional licensing or admission into professional schools. A DWI conviction might prevent a DWI offender from being admitted to a medical or law school. If one is already in an educational institution, it might preclude a license from issuing after graduation."
  • "The consequences of an underage public intoxication charge cn include a fine up to $500."

Proposed next steps:

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