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How much will a DUI or DWI cost?

The financial impact of a drunk driving conviction is a harsh one for anyone. However, for a college student or recent graduate – the financial burden that comes with a driving under the influence or while intoxicated conviction can really derail someone.

When talking about a DUI or DWI, the topic normally turns to the criminal side: the traffic stop, the arrest, going to court and having to deal with the consequences of having a criminal record. It is important to not lose focus on these criminal consequences – as these really do greatly impact life – but it is also important to talk about the financial repercussions too, as these will also continue to impact someone’s life, just in a different way.

For one thing – there is the cost that just comes with the conviction. In Maryland, there are two different levels to drunk driving. There is a DWI, which is when a driver has a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.07 or lower. Then, there is a DUI, which is when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08 or higher. A DUI comes with more severe consequences.

Fines and higher insurance premiums

Financially, a first time DWI driver will be looking at a fine of up to $500. The same goes for a second time DWI. With a first time DUI though, the very first fine is higher – up to $1,000. A second time DUI could be as high as $2,000 and a third can be up to $3,000.

It does not stop here though. Each DUI or DWI will also come with a license suspension or revocation. Once the time period is up – and driving privileges can be restored – there are associated administrative costs.

But again, the financial impact is not done yet – as each DUI or DWI also comes with added points to a driver’s license. These points – which range between 8 points and 12 points – also equate to higher car insurance.

Drunk driving can cost thousands

In the end, while the exact amount will depend on the circumstances surrounding the conviction, one can expect to pay thousands of dollars for a DUI or DWI conviction.

For someone who is in college – or just starting off after college – this financial burden can be tough. Especially in cases where someone is already trying to figure out how to pay back student loans, a DUI or DWI conviction can add even more financial stress. These financial woes can make it even more difficult to move on in life after college.

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