How Much Will a DUI Actually Cost Me?

how much does a dui cost

When you get pulled over after a night of drinking, the cost of a DUI usually is not the first thing on your mind. But, as the dust settles, many people are surprised by the price tag. While you may expect to pay a ticket, there are other charges that can impact the average cost of the conviction.

When all is said and done, you can find yourself out $10,000 or more for a single DUI.

And that’s not even considering less tangible costs like missed work, a suspended license, and lifelong challenges from having a DUI on your record. While the financial penalties alone are daunting, the truth is the total cost of a DUI conviction extends far beyond mere dollars and cents. Below, we take a look at the true “cost” of a DUI in Nevada.

Financial Costs of a DUI Conviction

Getting a DUI can really put a dent in your wallet. The fines, fees, and other costs associated with a conviction can add up to a hefty financial burden, sometimes totaling thousands of dollars.


If you’re arrested for a DUI, you might have to post bail. According to the Las Vegas Justice Court Standard Bail Schedule, here’s what you might pay for a DUI:

  • DUI — $2,000
  • Second DUI — $5,000
  • Felony DUI — Set in court

Even if you use a bail bonds company, you are still required to pay 15% of the bail amount in Nevada. So, for a $5,000 bail, you’ll pay $750. This is money you will never get back.

Fines and Court Costs

A first-time DUI fine in Nevada is between $400-1000. Subsequent DUIs can bump those fines up several thousand dollars.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Second DUI — $750 to $1,000
  • Third DUIs, Felony DUIs, and DUIs causing injury — $2,000 to $5,000

Additionally, there may be separate administration fees to be paid to the court handling your case.

DUI School

Regardless of the number of DUI offenses charged, if convicted, attendance in alcohol education classes or traffic safety courses is mandatory. Defendants are also required to participate in a victim impact course conducted by organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The costs associated with these classes are the responsibility of the defendant. The expenses vary depending on the specific course required, but on average, you expect to pay between $50 — $200 per course.

Failing to enroll and attend these classes can lead to the issuance of an arrest warrant.

Ignition Interlock Device

An ignition interlock device is a small device that is installed by a certified provider near the steering column of the defendant’s vehicle. On the other end, there is a blow device into which the driver must exhale before attempting to start the car. If any alcohol is detected, the car will not start. This device allows the defendant to drive to and from work or school while their license is suspended.

According to Intoxalock, a popular service provider, you may pay between $70 to $150 for installation of the device and $60 to $90 in monthly fees. These devices must be calibrated regularly, and if any maintenance is required, you may have to pay out of pocket for repairs as well.

Increased Insurance Premiums

After a DUI, you can expect an increase in your car insurance premiums. The impact varies based on factors like your insurance provider, driving history, and location. On average, anticipate a premium hike around 80%, which can easily raise your monthly payment by more than $100.

These rate increases are not done to punish you. Insurance companies view DUIs as high-risk behavior, prompting them to raise rates significantly. This heightened cost may persist for several years as DUI convictions tend to stay on your driving record. Keep in mind, these companies also reserve the right to drop your policy entirely.

DMV Fees

Speaking of insurance, when your license is suspended due to a DUI conviction, you have to file what’s called an SR-22 form with the DMV to get it back. You will have to call your insurance company and request them to file this “Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate,” which usually incurs a filing fee of about $25 to $50. You are required to keep your SR-22 on file for 3 years. If your insurance lapses during this period, you will have to start all over again.

Lifelong Costs of a DUI Conviction

Beyond the monetary expenses, a DUI conviction can also carry significant personal and long-term consequences.

Damage to Reputation and Future Prospects

A DUI on your record can negatively impact your reputation and make it more difficult to secure employment, housing, or other opportunities in the future. Employers and landlords may view a DUI conviction as a red flag.

Impact on Relationships and Mental Well-Being

The stress, shame, and legal troubles associated with a DUI can take a toll on personal relationships and mental health. This can strain marriages, friendships, and family dynamics.

Disruption to Daily Life

The various requirements of a DUI conviction, such as ignition interlock devices, alcohol education courses, and probation, can be disruptive and inconvenient, making it challenging to maintain a normal routine and lifestyle.

A license suspension can severely restrict your ability to get to work, run errands, or engage in other daily activities, further disrupting your life.

Minimize the Costs of a DUI With Benjamin Durham Law Firm

The best way to avoid the financial, personal, and long-term costs of a DUI is to never be convicted in the first place. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, contact experienced DUI lawyers who can work to protect your rights and minimize the consequences.

We know hiring a lawyer may seem like an added expense, but it’s nothing compared to the fallout of a DUI conviction. The fines, fees, license suspension, and other consequences can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, not to mention the damage to your reputation, relationships, and daily life.

Don’t let a DUI conviction derail your life – get the legal representation you need to fight the charges and avoid the costly aftermath.

Author Bio

Benjamin Durham is the principal attorney and founder of Benjamin Durham Law Firm, a criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, NV. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, he represents clients in both injury and criminal cases. Over his career, he has secured favorable verdicts for clients in both state and federal courts and successfully defended numerous high-profile prosecutions.

Ben’s exceptional legal skills and dedication to his clients have earned him recognition as a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also has been honored as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, further solidifying his reputation as a top-notch legal practitioner.

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