The state of Pennsylvania just released their figures of the true cost of a DUI to back up their marketing statement of “DUI, You can’t afford it” and the numbers are a good guideline.

Just Drive PA

Cost of a DUI

The costs associated with an impaired driving arrest can vary greatly depending on several factors, including blood-alcohol content, location of arrest, and number of offenses. The effect on a driver’s wallet starts the moment they are stopped by police. Here are a few expenses associated with a DUI.

  • Traffic fine: $300 – $10,000 depending on blood alcohol content and number of offenses
  • Towing vehicle: $50 flat fee plus mileage
  • Impound: $75 – $175 per day
  • Legal fees: $2,000 – $8,000 or more
  • Alcohol evaluation: $35 – $100
  • Accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD): $100 – $1,800
  • Education and treatment: $100 – $1,000 or more
  • License restoration fee: $25 non-commercial, $75 commercial
  • Insurance premium: increase of about $1,000 a year or cancellation of policy

Apart from the financial aspects of a DUI arrest, there may also be social ramifications. Court appearances, community service requirements or jail time lead to lost time and lost wages – possibly job loss. A DUI conviction can also impede attempts to get a job, and cause embarrassment to your family.

The biggest part that is missing from the Pennsylvania report of costs is the loss of your driver’s license. These costs can accumulate and cause bigger headaches that the fees listed above. Once you have started with a license suspension, there are many issues that can occur, these issues can vary in severity from just annoying your friends and family to losing a job and compounded financial trouble because of all the DUI costs listed above.

Some factors with license suspension for a DUI.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
Requires PennDOT to impose suspensions for ARD based on the following blood alcohol content ranges:

  • Less than .10% BAC – no suspension,
  • .10% to less than .16 BAC – 30 day suspension, or
  • .16% BAC and above – 60 day suspension

-Effective February 1, 2004

PA DUI License Suspensions
PennDOT will impose suspensions as follows:

  • Blood alcohol content below .10% and incapable of safe driving: No suspension for first offense if the driver meets certain criteria; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense.
  • BAC greater than or equal to .10% and less than .16%: 12 month license suspension for first and second offense. 18 month suspension for third or subsequent offense.
  • BAC greater than or equal to .16%: 12 month license suspension for first offense. 18 month suspension for second or subsequent offense.
  • Out-of-state DUI convictions: No suspension for first offense; 12 month license suspension for second or subsequent offense. (Please remember that if the DUI in another state results in that state suspending your license, PennDOT will not renew your Pennsylvania license during that out of state suspension)

-Effective February 1, 2004

PA Suspended Drivers - Suspension Snowball