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The financial cost of OWI

| Jul 23, 2020 | OWI |

The biggest immediate concern for those pulled over on suspicion of OWI is often the loss of one’s driver’s license or the potential legal penalties. What many drivers come to realize, however, is that OWI convictions also involve a long list of fines and expenses. Depending upon the incident’s circumstances, this often adds up to thousands of dollars — the national averages to be about $15,000.

The list of typical expenses

The costs will vary, but these expenses tend to add up:

  • Fines: The courts will levy fines based on prior driving and criminal history. This can range up to $5000.
  • Court costs: This starts at around $300.
  • Impound: Law enforcement typically impounds the vehicle and charges a daily rate for keeping it. The cost of releasing the vehicle starts at $90.
  • Probation: There is a monthly administrative fee that varies in amount.
  • Reinstatement: The BMV will charge at least a $250 fee, which doubles for each reinstatement.
  • Driver responsibility assessment: There is the possibility of a drug or alcohol abuse assessment, which the driver pays for.
  • Insurance: Automotive insurance typically goes up a thousand dollars or more per year if someone in the family is convicted of an OWI. Some have seen their health insurance rates go up as well.
  • Treatment counseling: Those required to go through drug or alcohol dependency treatment may have to pay thousands of dollars depending on the program and its length.
  • Ignition interlock device: These breathalyzers may be attached to each vehicle owned by the driver. It costs money to install, remove, and an average daily fee of $3 per device.
  • Lost income: Penalties often lead to time away from work. It can also mean the loss of employment if the employee cannot commute to the job or needs to drive at work.

Attorney fees are money well spent

The criminal justice system can be confusing, intimidating and expensive. The attorneys at Kammen & Moudy can offer clients the experienced support they need. These legal professionals protect the client’s rights and fight against undue legal penalties and financial hardship that can leave the driver to struggle for years to come.