How much does a DUI cost in the state of Virginia?

In addition to potentially facing jail time, there are a number of other costs associated with DUI arrests in the state of Virginia.

Each year, numerous people are arrested in Northern Virginia, and throughout the state, on suspicion of drunk driving. In fact, the state's Department of Motor Vehicles reports that there were 24,895 people convicted of DUI in 2014 alone. When facing alcohol-related charges, many people dwell on the possibility of jail time. However, there are a number of costs associated with DUI arrests, which may put a significant burden on people, and their families.

Fines

When people are convicted of driving under the influence in Virginia their sentence may include fines. The amount of these fines depends on a number of factors. This includes the circumstances of their arrests and whether they have previously been convicted of an alcohol-related offense.

The DMV points out that the mandatory minimum for a first time conviction is $250. If people are convicted of a second DUI, they will be fined $500 at minimum. The fine is increased to $1,000 for a third DUI conviction or a DWI conviction. If people have a minor, aged 17-years-old or younger, in the vehicle at the time of their arrest, then they face an additional fine of between $500 and $1,000.

Ignition interlock devices

It is required for people who are convicted of a DUI to have an ignition interlock device installed on at least one vehicle. In some cases, they may be ordered to have such devices installed on every vehicle that they own. Additionally, those who are granted restricted driving privileges may also be ordered to have ignition interlock devices installed on any vehicles that they operate. It is the drivers themselves who are responsible for the costs associated with these devices, not the state or the court.

As of 2012, the state approved ignition interlock companies were able to charge a maximum of $80 plus tax per month for these devices, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Typically, people are required to have ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for a minimum of six months. This period may be extended under various circumstances, including additional alcohol-related violations or violations of the device restrictions.

Impoundment

In situations when people are arrested for DUI and their driver's licenses are already suspended for an alcohol-related offense, state law allows their vehicles to be impounded. Consequently, they may be required to pay the towing and storage fees. The specific costs that people may incur as a result of an impoundment varies based on where they live and how long their vehicles are held. With few exceptions, drivers' vehicles are impounded for a minimum of 30 days.

Restitution

According to the Virginia DMV, people may also be ordered to pay restitution following a DUI arrest. This is the case if they are involved in a collision or other incident as a result of their alleged drunk driving. Depending on the local ordinances in the area where they are arrested, they may be held responsible for the costs resulting from law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services responding to the incident.

Legal representation

Legal representation carries costs that may increase the overall expense of a DUI arrest in Virginia. However, the laws and procedures involved may make it difficult for people to handle their cases themselves. Therefore, it may be helpful for people who are facing drunk driving charges to work with an attorney. A legal representative may help them to understand their rights and establish a solid criminal defense.