Criminal Defense

How much does a DUI cost?

Most people know that being arrested for Driving Under the Influence can be extremely expensive.  Exactly how expensive depends on many factors such as whether or not you have any prior DUI or other alcohol related covictions, your blood alcohol level, and the other circumstances surrounding your arrest (i.e. did you cause an accident or injure anyone).  If you have recently been arrested for DUI, you should speak with your lawyer about the specific costs that might be applicable to your situation.  However, I have listed below some common expenses associated with a First Offense DUI in Omaha, Nebraska.

Common DUI Expenses

1)  Bail – The first expense one might incur after an arrest for DUI is their bond.  In Omaha, often times law enforcement will simply issue you a citation and let someone pick you up at the police station; however, other times you will be arrested and booked into the county jail.  If you are booked into jail, you will have to spend $500 or so to bond yourself out.

2) Lawyer – Most DUI attorneys in Omaha will charge a flat fee for your DUI defense.  That fee is typically between $800 and $1,500 depending on the circumstances.  If you are paying more than $1,500, either you ran over someone, you are having a jury trial or you may want to question your lawyer’s billing practices.

3) Chemical Dependency Evaluation (CDE) – In Douglas County, sometimes you can get by without a CDE on a first offense as long as your blood alcohol level (BAC) is not too high; but more often than not, especially in smaller counties, you will need to obtain a CDE before a judge will sentence you (technically, it’s required that you obtain an evaluation prior to sentencing).  A CDE usually runs about $100 – $200.  Most health insurance plans provide some type of coverage for evaluations related to substance abuse.

4) Fines and Court Costs – Fines for Driving Under the Influence are statutory in Nebraska.  In other words, the exact fine that can/will be given by the judge is written into the law and depends on what offense DUI you are being sentenced on, what your BAC was and whether or not you receive probation.  For a first offense DUI, the fine is $400 if you receive probation and $400 to $500 if you are sentenced to jail.  Court costs in County Court are $49.  In a nutshell, your fine and court costs for a fisrt offense DUI charge will be $449 if you receive probation.

5) Probation and Drug Testing Fees – If you are placed on probation by the court, you will have to pay a $30 enrollment fee plus a $20 monthly fee, unless the monthly fee is waived.  There is also a $30 drug testing fee.

6) Work Permit or The Interlock Device – If you want to drive while your license is revoked, you will have to get either a Work Permit or the Interlock.  The Interlock device costs about $175 – $200 for a 60-day period, which is what you need on a first offense driving under the influence.  The work permit itself is less expensive; however, you are required to complete a driving class before getting the work permit, so you end up saving only $50 – $100.  The DMV also charges a fee for the actual permit.  As a side note, one more benefit the Interlock has over the Work Permit is that is keeps six points off of your license with the DMV.

7) Reinstatement Fee – When you license revocation is over, you must also pay a $125.00 reinstatement fee to the DMV to have your license reinstated.

All and all, on average, a First Offense DUI will end up costing you about $2,000 to $3,000.  That, of course, is the financial cost associated with the criminal court system.  Other potential ramifications such as jail time, a lost job, increased insurance rates, or worst of all, injuring someone can be much more costly.

Chandler | Conway

Related Articles