For most individuals, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) misdemeanor arrest and/or conviction is a devastating event.  The whole process of being arrested, much less convicted, of a DWI misdemeanor is typically enough of a warning to prevent a person from getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking alcohol ever again.

We can all agree that driving while intoxicated is a terrible decision.

But where the impact of DWI is often felt by individuals is in their wallet. When you consider the consequences of one DWI conviction in terms of money only, the costs can be staggering.

Let’s take a look at the potential cost impact of a first-time DWI conviction on a 30 year-old commercial truck driver who makes $29 an hour, or about $60,000 a year (without overtime):

Up to 1 year in Jail or 3 years probation:                                            $60k+ in lost wages

Up to a $1,000 court fine:                                                                         $1,000

Mandatory court surcharges of $400:                                                 $400

DMV penalties totaling $750:                                                                  $750

Mandatory ignition interlock device on 2 vehicles for 1 year:  $2,600

Increased insurance premiums:                                                              $2,000 annually

Costs to take drinking driver program (if eligible):                         $350

Cost to obtain an alcohol assessment:                                                   $300

Costs to get your vehicle out of tow:                                                      $150

Legal costs:                                                                                                        $2,500 – $10,000

Total cost:  $197,550.



One DWI misdemeanor conviction can potentially cost $200,000 in out-of-pocket costs and lost wages.  Of course, this assumes that the individual has not killed him / herself or someone else, which of course would increase this calculation immensely.

The bottom line:  Don’t Drink and Drive.

Call A Cab, Spend $50 and Save $200,000.