This time of year is known to wreak havoc on monthly budgets. Bills start rolling in for presents, holiday parties and greeting cards. One expense that you should avoid: the cost connected to a DWI conviction.
A DWI conviction just leads to a ticket, right? Yes, you do get a ticket with a DWI. Unfortunately, the financial consequences do not end there. A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction can have a serious impact on your wallet. Two of the main costs associated with this conviction include:
- Insurance. A recent report by finance website NerdWallet dug into the cost, analyzing the impact state by state. In New York, the average insurance rate for a driver with no infractions is about $1,900. After a DWI, this annual rate jumps to over $3,100. This translates to an average increase in insurance costs of 63 percent.
- Penalties. New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles outlines the criminal penalties that can come with a DWI. If focusing on the monetary cost of fines alone, a first DWI conviction can result in a fine of up to $1,000. A second offense can jump to $5,000 and a third $10,000.
Additional costs that you may not think of can also add up quickly. For example, some DWI convictions come with a required installation of an ignition interlock device. The driver is generally required to cover not only the cost of the installation of the device, but also the maintenance fees.
Those who are charged with drunk driving will also likely need to miss work to address the charges. This can be due to court appearances or potential jail time.
Is there anything I can do to avoid these costs? There are steps that can be taken to reduce these costs. Those who are facing charges should start by taking the charges seriously. Defenses are available. In some cases, a defense crafted to your situation can result in a reduction of charges.