Along with the criminal consequences, social stigma, and inconvenience of getting a DUI in Illinois comes a significant financial burden — ongoing expenses that persist years after case resolution.
If you’re facing DUI charges, it’s important to know what you’re up against, so that you know what to expect should your case end in conviction. We’ve put together a guide covering the various costs you’ll incur with an Illinois DUI if that happens.
Initial Illinois DUI Expenses, Fines, and Fees
You’ll begin paying for your DUI shortly after your arrest. Many arrestees are actually required to post bail in order to leave the jail, which ranges from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Note, this money will be refunded (minus all non-refundable fees) if you show up for your scheduled court date.
If you can’t afford bail, you’ll need to secure a bail bond from a local bondsman. These guys are similar to short-term loan servicers like Check ‘n Go. You may be familiar with the high-interest rates and other fees usually associated with these types of loans.
Unless you have a sober passenger at the time of your arrest, you’ll most likely have to pay a towing and impound fee to get your car back. Plan on that being another $100 to $200.
For a first DUI conviction, you will also have to pay a criminal fine ranging from $500-$2,500 depending on the circumstances of the offense and the presence of aggravating factors.
On-going Payments Throughout Your DUI Sentence
As a standard part of any DUI sentence, you’ll be required to take and pay for a class on the dangers of drunk driving.
Rates for DUI courses start at $50 per class and a $200 counseling fee is also typically tacked on.
You will also have to pay for drug and alcohol screening.
Becoming Licensed to Drive After an Illinois DUI
Upon conviction of a DUI, your license will be suspended for up to one year. To get your license back, a restoration fee of $500 is required.
You will also pay the standard fee of $10 for a new driver’s license, plus the formal hearing fee of $50 where you’ll be permitted to have your license to drive reinstated.
A DUI Conviction Equals High-Risk Insurance Premiums
If you’re convicted of a DUI, you’ll be required to pay for high-risk car insurance. This typically increases the cost of your premium by 19%, although this can vary based on your insurer.
Your premium will be increased for at least three years and possibly more.
Illinois Ignition Interlock Devices Aren’t Cheap
Many offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in their cars and pay for the cost of installation and maintenance. Device installation usually runs around $150, and you can expect the rental to cost between $70 and $100 per month.
You’ll also have to pay for regular maintenance and cover any repair costs if the device breaks.
Other Costs of an Illinois DUI
In addition to these already-substantial costs, you may incur additional financial burdens:
- Possible loss of employment, especially if your occupation requires any kind of driving
- Vacation time or leave without pay for court hearings, community service, counseling and possible jail time
- Transportation costs for traveling to and from work, unless you’re able to get a hardship permit license that would allow you only to drive to and from employment
- Compromised future employment prospects
Even a first-time DUI offense comes at a heavy financial, professional and emotional cost. However, if you’re facing DUI charges, all is not lost.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to dispute blood alcohol content test results or to argue that your Miranda rights were violated at the time of your arrest. This could potentially get your charges dropped, or win you an acquittal at trial.
Whatever the case, you have options, which you can and should pursue to minimize the fallout of a DUI arrest.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.