Most people associate monetary fines and possible jail time as the costs of a Washington state drunk driving conviction. While these may be the two most common costs related to a DUI, you should be aware of many other less obvious costs.
Here's a look at five hidden costs of a DUI conviction:
- Employment. A DUI may go on your criminal record. If your job requires that you maintain a clean driving record or have a valid driver's license, you could potentially lose your job or miss out on a new job opportunity. Another factor is all the time away from work when you must attend your mandatory appearance court dates.
- Mandatory Jail. Any conviction for DUI carries mandatory jail time. For a first offense, it is either 24 or 48 consecutive hours (or 15 or 30 days of electronic home monitoring). The jail time and house arrest goes up exponentially on second or subsequent convictions for driving under the influence.
- Ignition Interlock Device. Washington has very tough laws regarding the installation of ignition interlock devices. These devices require that you prove your sobriety before (by blowing under a .025) in order to be able to start your car. In addition, a person will need to continuously blow in the device as they drive. An ignition interlock device can be expensive to install and maintain.
- Auto Insurance. Any increased auto insurance premiums due to drunk driving can have a much longer lasting effect than a one-time monetary fine. A conviction for DUI carries the requirement that you carry high risk (SR-22) insurance for a minimum of 3 years after you are eligible to reinstate.
- Driving Record. A DUI conviction will go on your driving record and will trigger a driver's license suspension or revocation.
- Alcohol/Drug Evaluation and Any Recommended Treatment. As part of the penalties for a DUI, a judge will require a person to obtain an alcohol/drug evaluation. They will also require a person to complete whatever treatment is recommended. This could be as little as an 8 hour alcohol/drug information school or as much as two years of intensive outpatient treatment. The range in costs is several hundred to several thousand dollars.
There are many penalties and costs associated with a drunk driving conviction in Washington. If you have a question about your case and how to avoid penalties, talk to a Seattle DUI attorney at Wolff Criminal Defense. You can schedule a consultation to discuss your case by calling 425-284-2000.