How much could a DUI cost you? Compare stats by state | finder.com

The true costs of drunk driving

Compare the costs of getting pulled over for a DUI before getting behind the wheel.

Each year, about 10,000 drivers die on American roads in crashes involving alcohol. These alcohol-impaired deaths represent some 28% of all road fatalities in the United States.

Along with the emotional costs, road accidents cost the nation $44 billion in medical bills and work loss, according to the CDC. Extrapolating those figures, we found that drunk drivers are at the root of an expensive $12.32 billion in medical expenses and lost wages.

How much does a DUI cost?

The cost of alcohol-impaired driving varies by state and depends on the severity of the accident. For example, if you’re convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, you could be on the hook for $5,650 to $8,650 in fees and penalties. That’s a small sum compared with what the Department of Motor Vehicles estimates for someone living in Alaska, a whopping $24,265.

To understand how these figures are calculated, let’s dive into the range of penalties you face for drunk driving.

How much are fees and fines?

You face a range of penalties if you’re caught and convicted for drunk driving that large come down to how strict your state’s DUI laws are. All 50 states have adopted laws limiting your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to .08%. Still, the penalties you face in South Dakota differ widely from those of California, skewing the national average.

📰

Fines

$352

🚚

Towing

$15

🕌

Bail and court

$106

💳

License fees

$265

💲

Insurance increase

$1,248

🔧

Interlock iginition device

$748

🍺

Alcohol education

$218

🚔

Lost wages

$345

💲

TOTAL

$3,294

How much does a DUI cost in each state?

The average cost of $3,294 across the US doesn’t tell the whole story. This includes states that impose much lower fees and fines than the others. Compare the minimum average costs of a DUI for each state.

StateCost of DUI
Alabama$2,583
Alaska$4,891
Arizona$5,966
Arkansas$3,494
California$4,076
Colorado$4,369
Connecticut$4,846
Delaware$3,731
Florida$3,404
Georgia$5,453
Hawaii$3,638
Idaho$1,961
Illinois$2,956
Indiana$2,479
Iowa$3,382
Kansas$3,599
Kentucky$3,216
Louisiana$4,544
Maine$2,564
Maryland$3,125
Massachusetts$4,248
Michigan$2,732
Minnesota$2,669
Mississippi$1,961
Missouri$2,056
Montana$2,725
Nebraska$4,191
Nevada$3,290
New Hampshire$3,477
New Jersey$2,981
New Mexico$2,403
New York$3,510
North Carolina$3,321
North Dakota$2,018
Ohio$2,541
Oklahoma$5,159
Oregon$4,292
Pennsylvania$2,688
Rhode Island$3,440
South Carolina$3,313
South Dakota$1,082
Tennessee$3,177
Texas$3,436
Utah$5,204
Vermont$1,811
Virginia$2,561
Washington$4,179
Washington, DC$1,848
West Virginia$2,490
Wisconsin$2,744
Wyoming$2,168

Which state is toughest on drunk drivers?

In terms of fines, you may want to avoid drunk driving altogether in Oregon. While fines vary depending on the severity of the incident, you could be hit with a fine of up to $6,000 in the Beaver State. And in states with already high car insurance rates like Connecticut, a $1,500 increase to your premiums for the next few years is especially daunting. Other factors that significantly raise the cost in certain states are court fees and lost wages from jail time. Compare the overall most expensive states for DUI offenders.

Worst states for a DUI

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Utah
  • Oklahoma

Cheapest states for a DUI

  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Mississippi
  • Idaho

How much are DUI fines?

The average fee for a first DUI conviction is $352, and that number jumps to $762 for your second conviction. Those numbers include states that don’t charge a required fee.

Fees are highest in states like Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Washington, Utah and Pennsylvania. Only 13 states have no required fine.

State1st conviction2nd conviction
Alabama$600$1,100
Alaska$1,500$3,000
Arizona$750$1,750
Arkansas$150$400
California$390$390
Colorado$600$600
Connecticut$500$1,000
Delaware$500$750
Florida$500$1,000
Georgia$300$600
Hawaii$150$500
Idaho$0$0
Illinois$0$0
Indiana$0$0
Iowa$625$1,875
Kansas$750$1,250
Kentucky$200$350
Louisiana$300$750
Maine$500$700
Maryland$0$0
Massachusetts$500$600
Michigan$100$200
Minnesota$0$0
Mississippi$250$600
Missouri$0$0
Montana$600$1,200
Nebraska$500$500
Nevada$400$750
New Hampshire$500$750
New Jersey$250$500
New Mexico$0$500
New York$500$1,000
North Carolina$200$2,000
North Dakota$500$1,500
Ohio$375$525
Oklahoma$0$0
Oregon$1,000$1,500
Pennsylvania$300$300
Rhode Island$100$400
South Carolina$400$2,100
South Dakota$0$0
Tennessee$350$600
Texas$0$0
Utah$1,370$1,560
Vermont$0$0
Virginia$250$500
Washington$940.50$1,195
Washington, DC02500
West Virginia$100$1,000
Wisconsin$150$350
Wyoming$0$200

What’s an ignition interlock device?

An IID is a breathalyzer that requires a driver to blow into a mouthpiece prior to starting the vehicle. If the IID detects that the driver’s BAC is above a predetermined threshold, the device immobilizes the vehicle.

An IID typically costs between $70 and $150 to install and roughly $60 to $80 monthly to maintain and calibrate.

IID requirements by state

The average amount of time you’ll need an IID is 9 months. Where you live determines how long you’ll need to use your IID, with many states requiring at least a year.

Whether you’re ordered to install an IID in your vehicle at all depends on your BAC and whether you’re a first-time offender. 36 states require it on a first conviction, and all but 3 states require it after your second conviction at least.

StateIID required
Alabama6 months
Alaska6 months
Arizona12 months
Arkansas12 months
California3 months
Colorado8 months
Connecticut12 months
Delaware14 months
Florida6 months
Georgia12 months
Hawaii12 months
Idaho12 months
Illinois12 months
Indiana12 months
Iowa12 months
Kansas6 months
Kentucky6 months
Louisiana12 months
Maine5 months
Maryland12 months
Massachusetts24 months
Michigan12 months
Minnesota12 months
Mississippi3 months
Missouri6 months
Montana6 months
Nebraska6 months
Nevada3 months
New Hampshire12 months
New Jersey6 months
New Mexico12 months
New York6 months
North Carolina12 months
North Dakota1.1 months
Ohio1.1 months
Oklahoma18 months
Oregon12 months
Pennsylvania12 months
Rhode Island24 months
South Carolina6 months
South Dakota0 months
Tennessee12 months
Texas12 months
Utah18 months
Vermont0 months
Virginia6 months
Washington12 months
Washington, DC0 months
West Virginia4.17 months
Wisconsin12 months
Wyoming6 months

How much does jail time cost?

It’s a tricky number to estimate, especially given how differently incarceration and other penalties are handled among the states. A few states punch up the punishment by charging inmates up to $60 for each day they’re in jail.

On average, you’ll spend a minimum 1.5 days in jail after a DUI conviction, which includes states that don’t set a minimum jail time.

As for cost of lost wages, let’s break down average costs. The median annual income in the US of $56,615 breaks down to $217 a day. At that rate, the average DUI costs $345 in lost wages.

However, that’s merely the minimum penalty for a first DUI conviction. Most penalties increase after your first DUI, increasing the possibility of jail time with each offense. These averages also don’t include job loss, which could be a reality if your employer catches wind of your DUI. Some government and public office positions or jobs that rely on your driving ability won’t allow employees with DUIs at all.

StateLost wagesMinimum jail time
Alabama$0No minimum sentence
Alaska$6513 days
Arizona$2,17010 days
Arkansas$2171 day
California$8684 days
Colorado$1,0855 days
Connecticut$4342 days
Delaware$0No minimum sentence
Florida$0No minimum sentence
Georgia$2,17010 days
Hawaii$4342 days
Idaho$0No minimum sentence
Illinois$0No minimum sentence
Indiana$0No minimum sentence
Iowa$4342 Days
Kansas$4342 Days
Kentucky$4342 days
Louisiana$4342 days
Maine$0No minimum sentence
Maryland$0No minimum sentence
Massachusetts$0No minimum sentence
Michigan$0No minimum sentence
Minnesota$0No minimum sentence
Mississippi$0No minimum sentence
Missouri$0No minimum sentence
Montana$2171 day
Nebraska$1,5197 days
Nevada$4342 days
New Hampshire$0No minimum sentence
New Jersey$0No minimum sentence
New Mexico$0No minimum sentence
New York$0No minimum sentence
North Carolina$2171 day
North Dakota$0No minimum sentence
Ohio$6513 days
Oklahoma$2,17010 days
Oregon$4342 days
Pennsylvania$0No minimum sentence
Rhode Island$0No minimum sentence
South Carolina$4342 days
South Dakota$0No minimum sentence
Tennessee$4342 days
Texas$6513 days
Utah$4342 days
Vermont$0No minimum sentence
Virginia$0No minimum sentence
Washington$2171 day
Washington, DC$0No minimum sentence
West Virginia$0No minimum sentence
Wisconsin$0No minimum sentence
Wyoming$0No minimum sentence

How much does it cost to get your car back?

When you’re convicted of a DUI, you’ll like pay for towing and storage if your car is impounded, which vary by state. Towing fees could be as low as $75, for example, but impound, storage and recovery fees can run into the thousands.

How much does it cost to get your license back?

After you’ve paid out your penalties and satisfied your sentence, there’s still the matter of reinstating your driver’s license. In most states, you’re looking at $20 to $40 for a new license, while Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington charge $70 or more.

You could face higher license reinstatement fee for a DUI specifically. Rhode Island, for instance, charges $152 to reinstate a suspended license, but that number increases to $352 for a license suspended due to a DUI.

How much does car insurance go up after a DUI?

The costs don’t stop with your license. Depending on your state, you could end up paying 112% more each year on your car insurance premiums than before your conviction.

StateAverage car insurancePremium increaseCost of insurance after DUI
Alabama$72354%$1,113
Alaska$87280%$1,570
Arizona$84437%$1,156
Arkansas$73668%$1,237
California$841103%$1,708
Colorado$85734%$1,149
Connecticut$1,049100%$2,097
Delaware$1,14631%$1,501
Florida$1,18540%$1,659
Georgia$89747%$1,318
Hawaii$76562%$1,239
Idaho$57443%$821
Illinois$803470%$1,366
Indiana$66656%$1,039
Iowa$59960%$958
Kansas$69846%$1,020
Kentucky$80248%$1,187
Louisiana$1,23262%$1,995
Maine$61856%$964
Maryland$1,01751%$1,535
Massachusetts$1,05967%$1,768
Michigan$1,2319%$1,342
Minnesota$78837%$1,079
Mississippi$82727%$1,051
Missouri$74539%$1,036
Montana$69339%$963
Nebraska$68258%$1,077
Nevada$98529%$1,271
New Hampshire$77579%$1,387
New Jersey$1,26647%$1,861
New Mexico$76346%$1,113
New York$1,23549%$1,840
North Carolina$656112%$1,389
North Dakota$63833%$848
Ohio$70331%$920
Oklahoma$82428%$1,054
Oregon$82826%$1,043
Pennsylvania$87825%$1,098
Rhode Island$1,14825%$1,435
South Carolina$85427%$1,084
South Dakota$61627%$782
Tennessee$73819%$878
Texas$93444%$1,345
Utah$78439%$1,090
Vermont$68067%$1,136
Virginia$75142%$1,066
Washington$88428%$1,132
Washington, DC$1,1900.30%$1,194
West Virginia$85559%$1,360
Wisconsin$66551%$1,004
Wyoming$65752%$998

Bottom line

Grabbing the wheel after getting a drink is a bad idea, endangering your life, your livelihood and the lives of fellow drivers. It’s also a costly one, with hundreds or thousands in fees, penalties and potentially jail time.

After a night out on the town, hail a cab, request a rideshare or take advantage of public transportation to avoid the devastation of drunk driving. To protect yourself from drunk drivers on the road, compare car insurance policies to cover you and your car from the unexpected.

For media inquiries:

Jennifer McDermott

Consumer advocate helping people improve their personal finances.

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