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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Our first round of research was able to provide some ground-level information about the costs associated with a DUI/DWI case; however, associated costs like medical costs and all other costs other than the mainstream legal costs were not provided due to time constraints. We propose further research focussing on providing the estimated associated costs (other than the legal costs) concerned with DWI/DUI case in Texas, particularly in Bexar County, TX.
We also recommend a research request to provide a detailed overview of economic, relationship, educational, and any other negative impacts of childhood drinking. This piece of research will provide and detail the most prominent negative impacts that are associated with childhood drinking.