When we think of DUI offenses, we often think about the dangers posed to society. And, while we don’t want to minimize the dangers associated with driving under the influence, it might help some to re-think their habits if they really take a look at how much a DUI could cost over the long term.

The following infographic from Total DUI offers a look at some of the possible costs associated with a DUI violation.

Click to Launch The Financial Implications of a DUI from TotalDUI.com

Cost of Insurance

One of the biggest costs to you as a someone with a DUI is the insurance cost. This is because it’s ongoing for years. According to the infographic, the cost of insurance for a DUI can increase by between $5,000 and $10,000 over the course of five years following a DUI/DWI conviction. Additionally, some states require you to carry extra liability insurance after a DUI. That can further boost the costs associated with insurance.

Your DUI conviction can remain on your auto insurance record for a few years, and that means that any time your premiums are reviewed, you could end up paying more. Get too many convictions, and you could become uninsurable.

Other Costs of a DUI

There are other costs for a DUI as well. Of course, costs vary by state, since state laws governing the enforcement and penalties for DUI/DWI vary. But some of the costs you might run into include:

  • Required treatment costs
  • Engine interlock devices
  • Community service
  • Court fees
  • Fines
  • Costs associated with liability if you damage property or become involved in a collision

Overall, the costs of a DUI can start to add up. Even if you don’t end up in a wreck, if you are caught the costs are high, and the consequences last for years. According to the infographic, it can cost between $9,000 and $24,000 if you end up with a DUI. It seems clear that a better option is to ride with a designated driver, or hire a cab. Indeed, even if you have to pay a relatively steep price for the cab ride, you still come out ahead.

Think of the Long Term

As with so many issues related to personal finance, it’s important to think about the long term. Before you head out for a night on the town, think about the long term costs of your actions. In many cases, it’s wiser to plan ahead by not driving your own car, and instead opting for some form of public transportation. That way, you don’t end up in a situation where your judgment is impaired, and you think you can handle driving, even though you probably can’t.

Consider the impact that one DUI could have on your finances. What could you do with that extra $9,000 to $24,000? There are a number of options, from investing to going on vacation to buying a car. That’s a lot of money that ends up going for nothing if you are convicted of DUI. What do you think? Does this infographic do a good job of illustrating the costs of DUI?



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.