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A breakdown of the financial cost of a DUI

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense

A criminal charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in Kentucky can be costly. On top of possible imprisonment, a court could also order the convicted driver to pay a fine. But this isn’t the only fee a driver has to pay for their offense.

The true financial impact of a DUI conviction is much more than just fines. What other expenses can a driver expect on conviction?

Alcohol education and treatment

Kentucky mandates that DUI offenders must undergo alcohol education and treatment programs. However, the state won’t pay for these programs, so drivers must pay out-of-pocket to attend. These programs cost anywhere from $150 to more than $1,000.

Court fees

On top of the fine a driver must pay for a DUI conviction, they may also have to pay mandatory court costs and fees to cover administrative expenses. These fees are non-negotiable.

Service fee

Anyone convicted of DUI in the state must pay a $425 service fee in addition to their other penalties. This fee will be used to pay for state-backed funds, such as the ignition interlock administration fund and the traumatic brain injury trust fund. A part of it is also set aside to pay for agencies such as law enforcement, the Department of Public Advocacy and the Prosecutor’s Advisory Council.

License reinstatement

A court will suspend the offender’s license following a conviction. If a driver wishes to restore it, they’ll have to pay $40, on top of any other restrictions a court may impose as part of the reinstatement (such as the requirement to install an ignition interlock device).

Ignition interlock devices

A court may order a driver to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle. This device prevents drivers from starting the vehicle until it can detect zero alcohol levels from the driver’s breath. Installing an IID costs between $70 and $170, but you still have to pay about $80 monthly rent to continue using it. Because courts usually order drivers to maintain an IID for up to a year, these costs can quickly get out of hand.

A DUI in Kentucky can lead to a significant financial strain, with expenses far beyond initial fines. If you’re facing charges, consider the penalties that await you. A criminal defense legal professional may be able to advise you on your case and discuss what other punishments await you.