While many are aware of the penalties that are associated with causing a DUI accident, most aren’t familiar with how much a DUI charge can actually cost you. Aside from being faced with jail time and losing your driving privileges, there are many fees associated with being convicted of DUI and even more when you cause an accident that results in an injury and/or death. If you or someone you know was recently arrested for causing a drunk driving accident in Lehigh, PA and would like to know what expenses you may incur as result of being charged with the crime, below we outline this information for you.
- Traffic fine: This will range from $300 – $10,000 depending on what your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was and the number of prior DUI convictions you have on your record.
- Towing vehicle: In most cases, after being arrested for causing a DUI-related accident, your vehicle was likely towed from the scene causing you to incur a $50 flat fee plus mileage.
- Impound: After being towed, your vehicle will then be impounded which can cost you anywhere between $75-$175 per day.
- Legal fees: DUI charges carry some of the harshest penalties so if you want to stand a chance at getting these reduced, you will want to hire a Lehigh, PA drunk driving accident attorney. Aside from the fees they charge, you may also incur additional legal fees, so you may be spending anywhere between $2,000-$8,000, or even more.
- Alcohol evaluation: This will cost you anywhere between $35-$100.
- Accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD): ARD is a program that was approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, “for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. The primary purpose of the ARD program is the prompt disposition of charges, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trials and other court proceedings.” Given you qualify to take advantage of the ARD program, it could cost you between$100-$1,800.
- Education and treatment: A majority of DUI offenders are required to complete some type of treatment and/or education courses. And depending on which the courts require to complete will determine just how much you will need to spend. These courses may cost you between $100-$1,000, or more.
- License restoration: When it comes time for you to restore your driving privileges, you will incur a$25 for those who hold a non-commercial license and $75 for those who are restoring privileges on a commercial license.
- Insurance premium: After your insurance company finds out that you caused a DUI accident, they could increase your premium by $1,000 a year or choose to cancel your policy altogether.
[Source: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation].
Aside from the fees mentioned above, you may also have to pay for the injuries and/or property damage you cause. Keep in mind that if you caused someone to suffer an injury, they could turn around and sue you for personal injury and even for punitive damages. Punitive damages are generally awarded to a victim who can prove a driver’s negligent behavior caused them pain and suffering. If the courts decide that the victim should receive punitive damages, the money awarded serves as a form of punishment to the offender who got behind the wheel intoxicated.
Now, because you have a lot of factors working against you after you have been accused of causing a drunk driving accident in PA, it is in your best interest to retain a qualified and aggressive DUI accident lawyer in Lehigh, PA. Going into a courtroom without the proper representation puts you at risk of being charged with the maximum penalties and a slim chance of getting your charges reduced. So, if you would like to be connected with a legal professional who can provide you with the representation you need, contact USAttorneys.com. We will connect you with the top drunk driving accident lawyer in the Lehigh, PA area.