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Hidden Costs of a DWI in Texas

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Hidden Costs of a DWI in Texas

When you think about the consequences of a DWI, what do you think of? Typically, people consider jail time, fines, probation, community service, etc. What many people don’t realize is that there are many hidden financial costs associated with getting a DWI. Let’s go over some of the costs you may incur after a DWI conviction that you haven’t considered.

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Insurance Rates

Many people find that their insurance rates are expensive even without a DWI on their record. When you have been convicted of DWI, though, it can cause your rates to skyrocket. In Texas, you can expect your annual insurance rate to go up by about $1,000 after a DWI, for an average rate of $2,619 a year.

If the DWI is severe, or depending on your agency’s policies, your coverage may be dropped altogether. If you’re looking for a new company to issue you car insurance, you may struggle to find a policy that is affordable.

Ignition Interlock Device Costs

After a DWI conviction, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This device is a breathalyzer that is built into your vehicle. In order to drive your car, you must take and pass a breathalyzer test or the car will not start.

When you are mandated to have one of these installed in your car, you are also responsible for the cost. It is estimated that it costs about $100 to install, and an additional $60-$80 dollars a month for device monitoring and calibration. This equates to about three dollars a day. While this seems like a small daily cost, it adds up quickly.

Fines

You are likely aware that you will have to pay fines after a DWI conviction, but do you know how expensive they are?
● A first offense DWI has a maximum fine of $2,000
● A second offense DWI has a maximum fine of $4,000
● A third offense DWI has a maximum fine of $10,000

If you were in a DWI accident that resulted in someone’s injury or death, you may also be responsible for restitution payments. These are payments made to the victim or their family.

Drug Testing Costs

Some DWI offenders may be required to take drug and alcohol tests on a regular basis, and foot the bill.

Alternative Transportation

After a DWI conviction, your license may be is suspended for a set period of time. This means that you may have to find other ways to get from place to place.

You may be able to get bus passes for about $100 a month. However, if you don’t live conveniently near the bus route, you may find yourself relying on Uber. These rides can easily cost $15 each way, making it really expensive to get from Point A to Point B.

When it comes time to get your license reinstated, you have to pay an additional $125 fee.

You may try to obtain (with the help of your attorney) an occupational driver’s license or an ignition interlock license in order to drive during the suspension period. The average cost for this license is around $1000.

Non-Financial Costs

Now that we’ve covered some of the added expenses of a DWI conviction, let’s discuss other ways a DWI can impact your daily life.
Difficulty traveling internationally: if you have a DWI on your record, you may be barred from entering certain countries.
Unable to rent a car: if you are required to use an IID, or you are within 48 months of your DWI conviction, you will be unable to rent a car from most companies.
Loss of job: at-will employment states that employers can terminate your employment for any reason. In some industries, a DWI is enough reason to be let go.
Relational issues: although DWI is a relatively common occurrence, there is still a stigma for DWI offenders. You may have friends or family members who are unwilling to have a close relationship with you after a DWI.
Loss of custody: in severe cases, a DWI may cause you to lose child custody rights.
Loss of scholarships: if you are a current college student, you may lose your school scholarships and face additional academic consequences after a DWI conviction.

Texas DWI Defense

If you have recently been charged with DWI in Texas, our team at Deandra Grant Law is here to help. Get started today with an initial case consultation by clicking here.