Simply put – DWIs are expensive. There are several financial costs associated with drunk driving convictions, the most obvious of which is fines. Your first offense can cost up to $2,000 from the fine alone. A second offense can run you $4,000, and a third can result in a steep $10,000 charge. And those are just the fines – there are plenty of other hidden costs associated with DWI. For example, you will have to pay court fees. You might have to pay to post bail. You’ll face some costs related to your insurance. If you are a repeat offender and have two DWIs within the last five years, you will also have to pay for an ignition interlock device (IID). This device is a breathalyzer that you have to pay to install in your vehicle, as well as a monthly charge of around $70 to $100 a month.
But wait – there’s more! Even if you’ve already done your jail time, paid all your fines and gotten your license back, you still owe more money, for at least the next three years. The Texas Driver Responsibility program requires you to pay an annual surcharge. If you don’t, you lose your license – again. That annual surcharge is $1,000 for a first offense, $1,500 for a second offense and $2,000 if your BAC was .16 or higher at the time of your arrest.
And if you thought that was it, you thought wrong! There are more surcharges you can accrue in that three-year period. If you are caught driving before your license is reinstated, you can add another $250 to those annual surcharges. If you are caught driving without insurance, bam – another $250 a year.
DWIs are expensive. That’s why you should discuss your case with an attorney to minimize these costs as much as possible.