The Average Cost of a DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol can have devastating effects on innocent people and society at large. This is one of the reasons why criminal penalties for a DUI in Ohio can be so severe. As if the shame and consequences of a drunk driving arrest and conviction weren’t bad enough, a driving under the influence conviction comes with a hefty price tag, too. Your first DUI can cost upwards of $15,000 – even without property damage or anyone harmed. Here’s a breakdown of some of the expenses you can expect if you are convicted of a DUI offense in Ohio prepared by the Toledo, Ohio DUI Attorneys at Sawan & Sawan.

Tow and Impound Fees

Typically, after a DUI arrest, the arresting officer will tow the vehicle to a local impound lot. While on this lot, the vehicle will accrue tow and impound fees per day. Depending on how long the vehicle is impounded, these fees can add up fast.

Cost Estimate: $100-$1,000

Judicial Penalties

If you plead guilty or are convicted of a first OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) offense, the judge may fine you a minimum of $375 and a maximum of $1,075. This penalty can be $2,750 depending on the circumstances of your situation.

Cost Estimate: $375-$2,750

Auto Insurance Increase

Insurance monthly premiums can be three to five times higher for a Driver with a DUI conviction than an auto liability policy for a driver with a clean driving record. You will also need to file an SR-22 form with the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles. An SR-22 is a “Proof of Financial Responsibility” form. It certifies that a driver has purchased at least the minimum required amount of liability insurance for their state. While every driver is required to carry this level of insurance, drivers with a DUI, a DWI, or citations for driving without insurance must also file an SR-22.

Cost Estimate: $800 –  $3,000

Driver Intervention Program

If the judge sentences you to attend a Driver Intervention Program, there will be a cost associated with that program as well. In some circumstances, the Court may order an extended DIP program be completed, raising the cost substantially. In general, one 3-day program typically costs $200. To access the State of Ohio’s Driver Intervention Provider Program Database, please visit the Ohio Driver Intervention Program Directory website

Cost Estimate: $200 –  $400

License Reinstatement Fees

When you are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio, you are subject to a number of different types of license suspensions, ranging from 6 months to an indefinite period of time. Under the termination of your suspension, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles charges a reinstatement fee to restore your license privileges. In Ohio, the State typically charges a reinstatement fee of $475 after an OVI/DUI conviction. To learn more about Ohio Reinstatement fees, please visit the BMV website.

Cost Estimate: $475

Attorneys Fees

On average, Ohioans report spending approximately $2,500 in attorney fees and we agree that is a reasonable expectation of the average cost of a DUI lawyer. This average includes responses from those who used public defenders rather than privately-hired attorneys – so the number can even be higher depending on the nature of the offense, the jurisdiction and quality of the representation sought and the time spent on your case. Complicated cases where the stakes are high and your DUI lawyer represents you all the way through a trial can increase the cost significantly.

Cost Estimate: $1,500 – $7,500

Total Estimated Cost of a DUI

$4,950 – $15,125

About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo, Ohio based Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Truck Accident, Car Accident and Insurance Law Firm with lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.


Dennis P. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Georgia


Christopher A. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Michigan

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