Every state in the US has laws against driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In Nevada, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you are caught driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol or if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. Once you have been arrested for a DUI, you have several major issues to face, including possible jail time, court hearings, and of course all of the fees associated with a charge of DUI.
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How Much Does a DUI Cost in Las Vegas?
When charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, there will be a number of fines, fees and other charges you will be required to pay. The total you will have to pay for a first-time DUI can range anywhere from $400 to $5000 or more, but time lost on your job or to complete community service will add to your costs. Any further arrests after your first DUI will incur additional charges. See the following sections for more details on the different items included in a DUI charge.
For a first-time DUI arrest, an individual can expect to pay fines ranging from $400 to $1,000. If convicted of a felony DUI, or a DUI that resulted in death or substantial injury to another person, you can be charged with fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. Most first-time offenders do not have to pay the maximum $1,000 penalty, but combined fees, fines and costs for a DUI can come close to or surpass it.
If you happen to get arrested a second time for a DUI, fines are typically around $1,100. Second offenses also usually include 10 days to 6 months of jail time or house arrest. You may also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your car that will prevent you from driving while impaired. The installation of the IID, a small breathalyzer-type of device, will be another expense you have to pay.
A third DUI arrest within seven years is no longer considered a misdemeanor in Nevada. You will be charged with a felony offense and be ordered to pay higher fines. The range for third offense fines in Las Vegas is between $2,000 and $5,000. You will also be required to spend one to six years in jail, have an IID installed on your car, and your driver’s license will be suspended for up to three years.
In addition to the fines you are required to pay for a DUI arrest, there are other fees that you will incur when charged with a DUI. Retaining a lawyer to represent you at your trial will cost a good amount and the court can (and usually will) also order you to pay court costs. These items will increase the cost of a DUI significantly.
A lawyer will generally charge anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 to represent you for your DUI arrest. They will usually have a rate for pre-trial legal assistance and a rate for defending you in court. While this range is rather large, keep in mind that the fees lawyers charge for a first-time DUI, or misdemeanor, tend to be lower than what they would charge for a third offense, or a felony. So, if this is your first DUI, you can most likely expect to pay on the lower end of that price range.
Court costs are also to be paid by the defendant. These costs cover the administrative expenses the state sustains for bringing the DUI case against you, such as filing fees, subpoena fees, copying fees, court reporter fees, and more. These costs can range from $500 to $1,000 and higher.
Related: Do I Really Need a DUI Lawyer?
When you are arrested for a DUI, there are also other factors that can add to the costs you are required to pay. One of those is money lost due to lost time. Depending upon what the judge decides for your DUI case, you could be spending time in jail or doing community service as part of your sentence. These obligations will take time from your daily life and cost you in hours worked at your job, time spent with your family, and more.
Most first-time DUI offenders do not get sentenced to jail time. A judge could order a jail stay of 2 days to 6 months, but they tend to suspend the sentence if this is your first arrest. However, they do typically give you court-ordered community service that could be anywhere from 48 to 96 hours or more. Taking time off from your job to attend court dates, spend time in jail, or to complete your community service will cost you hours worked, and in some cases, may cost you your job altogether.
Additional costs that may be incurred when you are charged with a DUI include:
- Alcohol awareness and traffic safety class – approximately $150
- Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel – approximately $40
- Treatment Program (if diagnosed as an alcohol or drug abuser) – $1,000 to over $10,000
- Sentencing fees – approximately $100-$250
- Probation fees – approximately $200- $1,200
- Increase in automobile insurance – 80% increase on average
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good idea. While causing injury or death to yourself, passengers in your vehicle or to people in other vehicles is the worst outcome of DUI, getting arrested and charged with one is also not something you want to experience. The amount of money and time lost to defend yourself for a first-time DUI arrest adds up with court costs, fines, fees and other charges. By obtaining qualified legal representation in the event that you are charged with a DUI, you can avoid the worst outcomes or even potentially escape a conviction entirely.