Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Maryland. Those who are convicted face jail time and particularly heavy fines. For instance, a court can order a first-time offender to pay as much as $1,000 in fines. However, the actual cost of a DUI isn’t limited to these initial fees.
There’s a full spectrum of costs associated with a DUI conviction. Convicted drivers who think they just have to pay a fine are in for a nasty surprise when they have to pay these additional charges.
After a DUI conviction, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) can revoke the driver’s license. A driver can request a reinstatement of their license after a waiting period (usually six months after a first DUI offense), but this isn’t free. It can cost up to $72 to restore a license.
Ignition interlock program
A court may order a driver to participate in an ignition interlock program, which involves installing an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle. An IID prevents a motor vehicle from starting unless it can detect no alcohol from the driver’s breath. This program is part of the offender’s sentence, but the costs to rent the device will fall upon the driver and not the state. Renting an IID can cost as much as $100 monthly, and a court can ask a driver to use one for 180 days up to a year.
Alcohol education program
Convicted drivers may have to take part in a 12-hour alcohol education program as part of their sentence. But just like with the IID, the driver must shoulder the costs of this program. Fees vary between education providers, so drivers will have to ask.
There are other additional expenses that drivers convicted of DUI will have to contend with, such as increased auto insurance premiums and impound fees.
The true cost of a DUI is steep, not only in terms of money but also in its impact on one’s life and livelihood. If you face charges, carefully consider the financial consequences that await you and work with a legal professional to understand your defense options.