The hidden costs of a DUI in Georgia

| Apr 26, 2024 | DUI

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, it might seem like the easiest path is to just accept it and move on. However, there are long-term consequences that are not immediately obvious.

It is helpful to understand the full impact of a DUI in Georgia because there may be hidden expenses that can surprise you.

The initial costs

In Georgia, a DUI conviction can bring hefty fines, possible jail time and community service. The exact amount of the fine and the length of jail time or community service vary. One key consideration is if you already have convictions on your record.

However, one thing is certain: A conviction costs you money and time you could have spent elsewhere, possibly at work or with family and friends.

Car and insurance issues

After a DUI arrest, the police usually tow your car and store it at a lot, which costs money to get back. The longer your car remains impounded, the more you have to pay to retrieve it.

If you rely on your car for daily activities, using rideshares or car rental services can add up quickly. Furthermore, expect your car insurance rates to increase after a DUI conviction. This increase in insurance costs can strain your budget for years.

Court and treatment fees

Using the public Court is not free. Litigants have to pay court fees on top of everything else. If the court orders you to undergo evaluations or counseling, those are not free either. The current fee for Georgia’s DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program is $360.

Additionally, you might need to install an ignition interlock device in your car. This device involves both installation and monthly service fees.

Job risks

A DUI can mean missing work, whether because you are in jail, attending court sessions or completing community service. Too much time away could lead to losing your job, which means you would lose your regular source of income.

Costs from accidents

If your DUI involved an accident, you might be responsible for paying for any damages or injuries that occurred, especially if your insurance does not cover all the costs. These payments can be very high, particularly if there was significant damage or serious injuries.

Getting a DUI in Georgia involves many costs, some of which might not be clear right away. Besides the immediate fines and penalties, there can be hidden costs that can affect you for a long time. These extra expenses are a big reason why it is helpful to consider how to handle DUI charges and determine if you can get the court to drop or reduce the charges.

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