Justin Bieber can afford a DUI, but can you?
The pop star is a multimillionaire, so the cost of facing charges in court won't be a problem for him. But for people who aren't rich and famous, it's a huge financial hit.
This post comes from partner site Money Talks News.
Pop star Justin Bieber, arrested on charges of drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license in Miami Beach, Fla., early Thursday, can afford the high cost of a DUI arrest and the additional costs if he's convicted.
Bieber is said to have a net worth of $130 million.
But how about you? Ted Hollander, a lawyer who handles DUI cases at the Ticket Clinic, told us that a DUI can easily cost a driver $15,000. CarInsurance.com estimates a first drunken-driving conviction will cost at least $10,000.
Fees and fines
Upon your arrest, you’ll likely have to post bail -- from several hundred to several thousand dollars -- which will be returned to you minus nonrefundable fees if you appear as scheduled in court. You may also have to pay towing and impound fees to get your car back, likely another $100 to $200.
Upon your conviction, you'll pay a fine, which can run from the hundreds to thousands of dollars, plus additional court costs. For instance, the fine for a first offense in Texas is up to $2,000, and $10,000 if there was a passenger younger than 15 in the car.
DUI classes and screenings
You'll be required to take a class on the dangers of drunken driving, and you'll have to pay for it. Expect to pay several hundred dollars. Plus, there's an additional cost for drug and alcohol screening.
Your license will be suspended, possibly for a year. To get it back, you'll have to pay a restoration fee, which varies by state. In New Jersey, for example, it'll cost you $100. In Minnesota, reinstatement costs $680.
The fee charged by your lawyer can vary by experience level, location and the complexity of the case. An MSN Money article gave a range of $250 for entering a guilty plea to up to $25,000 if you fight the charge in court.
According to Insurance.com, a DUI will increase your insurance by an average of 19 percent. However, the increase can vary depending on factors like where you live and your insurance company.
How long you'll pay a higher insurance rate depends on your insurance company, but generally it's no less than three years.
An ignition interlock is a device that records your blood alcohol content and allows the car to start only if your BAC is below a set limit. Installation costs $100 to $200, and monthly rental fees range from $70 to $100, according to IgnitionInterlockDevice.org. Regular maintenance and calibration cost extra.
Fifteen states mandate ignition interlocks. "In December 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations released model guidelines for states encouraging them to adopt ignition interlock for first-time convicted drunk drivers and establish a minimum length of time in which offenders must use the interlocks," the National Conference of State Legislatures says.
Other consequences could drive the financial drain of a DUI way above the $10,000 to $15,000 mark. In a worst-case scenario, you'll lose your job, particularly if your occupation requires driving. Also, a DUI could affect the status of your professional license to practice medicine or fly a plane, MSN Money says.
Those who keep their jobs could lose valuable work time attending to the requirements of court appearances, DUI school, community service, counseling and jail.
If you're unable to get a hardship permit that would allow you to drive to and from work while your license is suspended, you'll have to figure in additional transportation costs.
A DUI could also impact future employment. How long the offense remains on your record depends on your state, but in many states it's permanent. A prospective employer will find that information in a background check.
Let's compare all of this with the cost of a taxi. That's one of your options to avoid getting arrested on a charge of DUI.
Here are some others:
- You can schedule a ride with a service like SafeRide America.
- AAA DUI Justice Link provides an extensive list of sober ride services around the country, broken down by state. Find a nearby service and save the number in your phone. The list was compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- AAA chapters in many states offer Tow To Go and other similar services during holidays.
- The Taxi Finder app has a taxi directory and fare estimator for 40 North American cities.
This is an update of a post originally published on May 27, 2013.
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Why wasn't this puke charged with driving with an expired license. This should be enough to get him deported. Or do the rich have a different set of laws
Bieber is a drunk, doping, punk, thug, who has little talent and even less sense. This kid is on the verge of self destruction and now he was opening the door to killing someone else or running into a house in a residential area. His admission of his doping and stupidity should make Adidas think twice about their golden boy. I am encouraging all of you to boycott Adidas products as long as they have this drunken thug of punk as their representative.
Bieber will be lucky to live until 30 years of age, his stupidity is overwhelming and his arrogance makes him even dumber than dumb. He is dumb and dumber rolled into one. Usher should be ashamed of what he has created and his name is on whatever Bumbling B eiber does, so when he kills someone else or himself we can all thank Usher for his discovery.
Justim Beiber needs a wakeup call so prison time should be in his near future for this idiotic drunkenness. If the judge does not have him serve a sentence you know the judicial system is rigged for the celebrites with no brains.
Bieber is a punk thug that needs a life lesson, hope he enjoys his time with Bubba, maybe he will need those gay rights after spending some time in prison.
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