The Unexpected Costs of A DWI Conviction

The Unexpected Costs of A DWI ConvictionBeing convicted of DWI can take a toll on your personal and professional life, and it can also wreak havoc on your finances. Offenders are often surprised by the substantial costs of a DWI conviction, and many of them are not financially prepared to cover the many expenses that arise after an arrest. What expenses should you expect to incur after being convicted of DWI? Here’s a look at some of the many costs of a DWI conviction:


There are a number of possible penalties that can be imposed on a defendant convicted of DWI, including substantial fines. It’s possible that the judge presiding over your case will decide not to impose fines at all, but it’s best to be prepared.

Auto Insurance Rates

Having a DWI conviction on your record can raise your auto insurance rates as well. Insurance companies no longer view you as a low-risk driver once you are convicted of DWI. Instead, they will place you within the high-risk category, which can lead to a spike in insurance rates. Don’t expect your rates to suddenly drop back down–you may need to pay this new rate for years following the conviction. Sadly, many DWI offenders are not prepared to pay this unexpected expense, which leaves them no choice but to give up their driving privileges until they can afford insurance.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Some DWI offenders are required to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles in order to regain their driving privileges. But, the excitement of reinstating your driving privileges may cause you to forget about the cost of having an ignition interlock device.

It’s estimated that it costs about $60-80 per month to rent a standard ignition interlock device. Models with advanced features such as GPS tracking may cost even more. You are also required to pay an installation fee, which varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle, and a maintenance fee. Many DWI offenders are surprised by how quickly these fees add up. Reinstating your driving privileges may make your life more convenient, but it can also add to the total cost of a DWI conviction.

Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP)

DWI offenders are typically ordered to complete a SATOP in order to regain their driving privileges. SATOP is a helpful program, but it comes at a cost. The initial screening process that determines which program is right for you costs $375. You are expected to pay an additional fee once you are screened and placed in a program. This fee can range from $130 to over $1,000, depending on the program that has been selected for you.

Have you been charged with DWI? If so, the attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC can help. We understand that the only way to avoid these expenses is to avoid a conviction, which is why we will work tirelessly to reach this outcome. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation today.

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