Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Legal headaches aside, a DUI in Ft. Lauderdale comes at a cost, to your life, your permanent record, and especially to your wallet. On top of your fines, penalties and legal fees, a DUI conviction will cause your auto insurance to skyrocket by 86 percent, according to a new report.

Florida DMV records show that in 2011, 32,625 people were convicted of DUI. DUI arrests in Broward County totaled 985, and in neighboring Miami-Dade there were 2,274.

Most people realize once they’ve been arrested for DUI that the legal ramifications are going to be very costly. For a first DUI with a blood alcohol level if .15 or less the offender can expect to pay fines ranging between $500 and $1,500. When the blood alcohol content is above .15, a convicted driver will have to pay penalties as high as $2,000.

Along with the penalties, DUI convictions incur additional costs which include fees for community service at an average of $10 each hour. Since most convictions require a minimum of 50 hours of community service that adds an additional $500 to a conviction.

In many cases, judges require offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles—these devices detect alcohol on the breath. This equipment requires monthly calibration and additional fees.

The fines people expect, but they don’t always take into consideration that once they are fortunate enough to get their license back, their insurance bill may be shocking. According to the Sun Sentinel, insurance rates following a DUI conviction typically increase by 86 percent, which means the offender can expect to pay up to $3,072 annually. Over a period of five years, an individual will pay close to $5,000 for car insurance, according to a study from CoverHound.com—a website that compares insurance rates.

As the Sentinel reported, intoxicated drivers in Florida often see insurers hike their rates well-above the national average, and can expect to pay $400 more than convicted drivers in other states, CoverHound discovered.

Company spokeswoman, Rory Joyce explained that insurance rates spike in Florida because insurers must take into account that an intoxicated drivers can cause traffic accidents that may end up being very costly along with the fact that there is a great deal of insurance fraud in the state.

Too often people try and take on a DUI conviction alone, without legal representation, primarily because they want to save money. While legal defense fees can be pricey, it can’t compare to the damage can conviction can cause.

In Florida, a DUI conviction can stay on your record for 10 years, and having this on your record can affect a person’s future, especially when trying to seek new employment.  It’s important to stop a conviction initially so you don’t have to try and scrub your record in the future.

It’s worth it to spend the money on a Ft. Lauderdale attorney Michael Leader; he knows the various ways to challenge the charges, the defense strategies that prevent a conviction, and whether it is in your best interests to negotiate for a plea deal.

Contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorneys to review your case today.