DUI Costs

There is a huge difference between the cost of getting drunk, being impaired, having a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, and the price you may have pay for drunk driving. While a case of beer or a bottle of wine may only run you a few dollars at the grocery store, the long-term costs of a DUI case can easily grow into thousands of dollars.

Whether your expenses are a direct result of your DUI arrest (court costs, legal fees, fines and the like) or they show up later on (higher auto insurance rates, loss of income, etc.) a DUI conviction means you could be on the hook for some serious money. These kinds of bills and extra stress can be devastating and often leave families in financial ruin.

Don’t let this happen to you! If you or someone you love has recently been charged with a DUI offense, seek the help of a qualified DUI attorney to assist you with your case. The Law Office of Joshua Kaizuka has over 15 years of experience helping DUI victims in Northern California. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your case and may be able to help reduce or eliminate some of the charges you are facing.


It should come as no surprise that being arrested for drunk driving can result in a range of fines and penalties. However, few people realize just how much these costs can add up. If convicted of a DUI offense, here is a rough estimate of what you might expect to pay:

Court Costs

The minimum fine is $390, but this amount can be as high as $1000. It all depends on the judge, county, nature of the case and many other factors.

The court will also slap you with “penalties and assessments.” Although there is no set amount of these fees, they are often four to five times as much as the court costs themselves. The fines plus the extra penalties and assessments end up being $2000 to over $3000 depending on the county.

Attorney Fees

You can represent yourself - or hope to land a decent public defender - but hiring a good California DUI lawyer usually makes all the difference in your results.

Prices vary depending on a lawyer's background, experience and the details of the case, but costs ranging anywhere between $1000 to $10000 are relatively common. Cases that can be settled out of court will cost less while those that go to trial will be more.

DUI School

Even first offense DUI charges require enrollment in a drug or alcohol treatment program. Costs fluctuate but expect to pay somewhere around $600 or over $1500 if a multiple offense program is required.

Towing or Impound Fees

Getting your car back if it is impounded can run you from $350 to thousands of dollars depending on how long the car is impounded.

DMV Fees

Once you have finally served a license suspension, you will need to cough up at least $125 to get your driver’s license reinstated.

IID (Ignition Interlock Devices)

In four counties, Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare, IIDs are required by DMV even for a first offense DUI. Depending on the circumstances, some courts will require you to install one of these mini-breathalyzer devices to prevent you from driving drunk again. Expect to shell out about $100 to install the device and around $75 per month for the rental fee.

Although many of these costs are unavoidable, some can be eliminated if you win your case or are successful in having the charges reduced. Don't try and go it alone, however. Work with an experienced DUI lawyer who understands how to navigate complex cases like these.

The professionals at the Law Office of Joshua Kaizuka know how to protect client's rights and negotiate better settlements on their behalf. If you need help with a DUI case, call our office today at 916-706-0678 to set up a free consultation. We will be happy to discuss your situation and answer any questions that you might have.


What many people fail to consider are the long-term costs of a DUI. These numbers are hard to pin down, but here are a few things to consider:

Car Insurance

If you are convicted of even a first-time DUI offense, expect your insurance rates to go through the roof!

Drunk driving makes you “high risk” in the eyes of the insurance companies and can increase your rates by up to $1500 per year. Being a “bad” driver can cost you around $4500 over a typical 3-year probation period.

There are ways to try and mitigate future insurance costs with some early prevention. We can help navigate these issues.

Lost Income

Besides the missed workdays to attend court hearings and meet with your attorney, a DUI conviction can sometimes cause people to lose their jobs entirely. Especially if driving a vehicle is part of your daily activities.

A DUI could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars and according to AAA a first time DUI will cost an average person around $10,000. Couple this with the stigma of being labeled as a drunk driver, or having to face probation for extended periods of time, and you can see why fighting a DUI charge is so important.


The threat of a DUI conviction and the many costs that go along with it are a BIG deal. While there is no way to undo what has already been done, the next best thing is to hire a top-notch DUI lawyer to help minimize the damage. While not the cheapest option up front, hiring good legal counsel will more than pay for itself in the end.

Here are a few things to look for when choosing your California DUI attorney:

  1. Experience - DUI cases require extensive research, excellent negotiating skills and a thorough understanding of this complex area of law. Make sure you work with a partner who has traveled down this road before and can help guide you through the complicated DUI process.
  2. Availability – When you hire a lawyer, he or she should be available to meet with you, call you back if you leave a message, email you back if you send one either the same day or within a reasonable time. You undoubtedly have questions and you expect your attorney to discuss your questions.
  3. Knowledge – You should expect your lawyer to know how things work in the county where your case is pending as well as how things work with DMV. In some cases, having the right investigator or expert makes all the difference.
  4. Specialized Skills/Training - To think that a “lawyer is a lawyer” is the same as saying a “doctor is a doctor.” Those who have specialized in a particular area of their field have much greater knowledge than others who have not. Be wary of lawyers who are willing to take on every client that comes their way. They likely do not have the knowledge, skills or resources required to handle DUI litigation.
  5. Honesty and Integrity - While we would like to promise you the moon, the outcome of a DUI case is never guaranteed. Lawyers who say otherwise are lying to you and are in violation of State Bar ethics rules.

The Law Office of Joshua Kaizuka will do everything humanly possible to help you resolve your case favorably, but ultimately the final decision rests in the hands of the courts.

If you have additional questions about DUI costs or anything else related to drunk driving offenses, call our office today at 916-706-0678 to setup your free consultation. One of our friendly, experienced attorneys will be glad to review your case and discuss what options may be available to assist in your DUI defense. We have helped drivers all over Northern California manage their DUI charges, and we can do the same for you.

Call now!