If convicted of driving under the influence, an offender may face many penalties: jail time, community service, probation, and the loss of driving privileges. In addition to these penalties, the judge will also order the offender to pay DUI fines.
Several different factors are used to determine the DUI fine amount. Each state has specific guidelines regarding fines based on the circumstances of the drunk-driving case. Fines are also left to the discretion of the judge who presides over the case.
One type of fine that a DUI offender faces is a criminal fine. These fines are imposed during a criminal case and are intended to punish the offender as well as discourage him or her from drinking and driving in the future. As stated earlier, many factors are used to determine the amount of the DUI fine; however, the most critical factor is the number of drunk-driving convictions on the offender’s record. Though the fines vary from state to state, the fines for a first-time offender can range from $500 to $1,000. An offender with two or moree convictions faces fines of up to $15,000 or even higher.
Other costs are also associated with a DUI conviction. In some cases, the judge will order alcohol and drug abuse education classes or the installation of an ignition interlock device. The offender is responsible for paying for these programs, adding to the total cost of the DUI fines.
Another DUI fine that may be imposed by the court is restitution. This fine is decided in a civil court and is used to compensate a victim of personal injury as the result of a drunk-driving accident. The plaintiff in this case is the personal injury victim, who may be seeking payment for loss of income, medical bills, pain and suffering, or property damage.
The state’s department of motor vehicles may also impose fines. This department is responsible for suspending or revoking the offender’s driver’s license. In order to contest this suspension, the offender must pay for the cost of the administrative hearing. If the offender’s license is suspended, he or she must pay a reinstatement fee in order to get back his or her license after the suspension is over.
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