Mandatory Classes and Other Court-imposed Costs of a DUI
Interviewer: What about the court costs? What about classes that someone may be required to attend?
Total Costs for Mandatory Classes in Connecticut for a First Offense Will Be in $700 Range
Steve Tomeo: In Connecticut, if you were ordered to take classes as a result of a diversionary program, the cost of taking classes plus application and evaluation fees could run you as much as $700.
Court Fines Can Cost as Much as $4000 for Multiple DUIs
If you’re a second offender DUI, the penalty could start at $2,000 for the court fine. If you are a third offender DUI in Connecticut the court fine could start at $4,000. I mean, these fines start increasing almost exponentially the more you get.
Interviewer: I’ve also heard about mandatory donations to certain organizations, such as Mothers against Drunk Driving, for instance. Is that something that you’ve heard of also?
Steve Tomeo: Well, Mothers against Drunk Driving puts on a class called the Victim Impact Panel, VIP, and if the court orders you to take that, it’s a $75 fee payable to Mothers against Drunk Driving. It’s a two-hour seminar.
I’ve had a lot of people that have been ordered to take that tell me that it was an enlightening class, that it was very practical and that they got to listen to people talk about how their lives were impacted by DUIs.
Legal Fees Can Range from a Few Thousand Dollars to Much More Depending on the Level of the DUI Charge
So what about other license costs? What about legal fees? Depending, say, in Connecticut a lowball legal fee might be $2,500 throughout most of the state, but what about if there was an accident that was involved or it’s a felony DUI, the legal fees are more expensive. Jail time is a heavy risk.
The Social Toll of a DUI Is Also Considerable
What about the social costs? What about, you’re married, you have two children, you’re struggling, and you get a first-offense DUI conviction? How many times have you heard that families are not able to withstand the frustration of something like that along with the resulting economic hardship? Husbands and wives may divorce and they go their separate ways, and the children need to be taken care of with out-of-pocket child custody payments.
That social cost is astronomical. The toll a conviction has on an individual’s life in my opinion is debilitating, and in a number of instances I think it’s very difficult for people to recover from it by way of the lost income and the tremendous amount of expenses that are associated with a drunk driving.
In Total, a First Offense DUI Could Cost about $10,000 but in Some Cases, That Cost Could Double
There have been national studies on this. Some studies have said that the cost of a first offense conviction runs anywhere between $9,000 and $24,000. I think one of the networks had a newscast once that averaged it out to about $10,000. It is a very, very expensive endeavor.
Employers do not want to hear about it. They do not want to have to deal with it, and the laws are severe and your economic livelihood can be at stake.