Also Titled “What Does it Really Cost to Plead Guilty”
We have discussed the judicial and administrative expenses and penalties in DUI cases. Now let’s look at some of the non-judicial costs of a DUI.
IGNTION INTERLOCK DEVICE: If you are suspended due to a Kansas DUI conviction or administrative suspension, your period of suspension will be followed by a requirement that you only operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. An ignition interlock device typically costs $150 payable up front for installation/de-installation of the device, and $75.00 per month.
CAR INSURANCE: Your car insurance rates depend on, among other things, what kind of a car you drive, your age, and your driving record. Most insurance companies will only look at the past three years of your driving record. However, some go back five years. A DUI on your driving record could double or triple your insurance premiums. Some insurance companies will drop you as a customer and refuse to insure you, especially if you have had other traffic tickets or DUI’s.
A DUI on the driving record of one member of a household can affect the premiums of every other member of that household. Insurance companies insure vehicles and not people. They assume it is likely that members of the same household may drive each others cars. Thus, one “high-risk” driver may raise the insurance rates of other members of a household.
If you currently have a car insurance policy, they may not find out about a DUI, at least not immediately. Many insurance companies do random driving record checks. If you pay your premiums on time and don’t make any waves, you may increase your chances of going by undetected for awhile.
CAR RENTALS: Many car rental companies are beginning to run driver’s license checks on prospective customers in an effort to minimize their losses and to avoid lawsuits. If you have a DUI or multiple traffic infractions on your driving record, it could make it hard to rent a vehicle.
EMPLOYMENT: Some employers are screening out job applicants by pulling their criminal and/or driving records. These items are public records. A driver in the transportation industry will be subject to annual and random driving record checks by both his employer and the employer’s insurance carrier. If a DUI pops up, that person’s job is usually terminated. This kind of screening is done on everyone from pizza delivery drivers to school bus drivers. It does not matter whether the DUI was received off the job.
Further, if you have a job that requires you to drive or have transportation (i.e., sales) even a thirty day suspension could cost you your job. Also, as everyone knows, most job applications ask about criminal convictions.
TRANSPORTATION: Alternate means of transportation during a period of suspension can add up quickly. Taxi’s and buses get expensive when used on a daily basis. There is also the strain put on personal relationships when an adult has to be driven to and from work and activities by friends and loved ones.
SCHOOL: Most universities take a serious look at criminal records or substance abuse problems when considering an application for entrance to the school. Further, scholarship or grant eligibility may be greatly diminished and existing grants can be taken away for substance abuse or legal problems.
INCIDENTAL EXPENSES: Inherent in a conviction for DUI are incidental expenses that mount up quickly. Here are a few examples: If convicted of a DUI, or if applying for diversion, the judge will require that you get an evaluation by an approved alcohol counselor. This will usually run between $50.00 and $125.00. While on probation or diversion you will have to pay a monthly monitoring fee to the counselor or another agency of between $10 and $20.00 per month. You will also be required to pay for the random urinalysis or blood tests ($18.00 to $80.00) and any treatment or counseling you are required to get. AA meetings are free but time consuming. After a driver’s license suspension, you must pay a reinstatement fee to get your driver’s license reinstated and retake the written and driving portions of the driver’s license test ($15.00).
TRAVEL: Some countries, particularly Canada, will not allow persons who have been convicted of a DUI to enter their country. Canada will turn you away at the border or at the airport. They have comprehensive access to the criminal records of the United States and will run a background check on you. When a conviction for DUI is revealed you will be sent home. This is a major problem for those who intend to travel to Canada for business, fishing or vacation. Other countries have similar rules.