Detroit, MI- Being charged with a DUI is headache and few people facing this charge are thinking of the possible consequences they face when they get behind the wheel. The legal consequences are serious enough, but the negative impacts of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the penalties.

A DUI conviction can limit your educational or employment prospects, and leave them with a permanent record. And it’s very costly, and by very costly we mean well nearly $15K costly. That’s why it’s worth a person’s time and money to hire a Detroit DUI attorney.

Statistics form the Michigan State Police compiled by MADD shows that 35,748 people were arrested for DUI in 2012. Of those arrests, the state secured 16,649 convictions. Additionally, there were 289 alcohol related deaths in the state costing the taxpayers $1.3 billion, so naturally some of those costs are passed on DUI offenders.

Here is a breakdown of the DUI costs compiled by Michigan.gov:

  • Arrest – $150 – $350
  • Bail – $150 – $2,000
  • Towing and Impound- $100 – $200
  • Attorney fees-$500 – $5,000
  • Court fees- $700 – $2,200
  • Tether fees monthly -$200
  • Alcohol evaluation and testing monthly- $10 – $300
  • Ignition Interlock device:  Installation-$50 – $200; monthly fees- $50 – $100
  • Alcohol education/treatment- $350 – $1,000
  • Driver responsibility fees:  ANNUALLY for two years -$1,000
  • License reinstatement- $125
  • Insurance increase: Annually: $1,500 and up

If you add up the average costs that people pay a DUI could ultimately cost you: $15,638!

Of course, those costs don’t take into account the lost wages you might incur if you have the misfortune of being sentence to jail—a first DUI conviction carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail.

And since those costs were compiled last year it doesn’t take into account new data from NHTSA which shows that annual insurance premium increases in Detroit can be upwards of $5,996.

Many of those costs, such as the ignition interlock fees, alcohol treatment or education fees, license reinstatement fees and increased insurance premiums can be avoided if you aren’t convicted. Stopping a DUI conviction is possible, but it’s unlikely to happen unless you are willing to retain and Michigan DUI attorney.

There are plenty of people who have this mistaken notion that they don’t need would just be easier to plead guilty to a DUI. Or, they think a DUI attorney will be too costly, and they can save some money by forgoing legal counsel. This is a big mistake, and making it means you’ll be paying for your DUI conviction for years to come. A DUI conviction is clearly more costly than hiring an attorney to defend you against the charges.

A DUI attorney does more than just work on your defense, they also play an integral role in negotiations for lesser charges or plea bargains for reduced penalties. Since they work with the courts regularly, they are aware of what plea bargains, if any, the courts will accept.