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What is the Cost of a DWI?

By: Thomas Hagen May 2013

What is the cost of DWI?

There is not a hard valuation on the cost of receiving a DWI, but most agree that on a first time offense, the typical cost is upwards of $10,000.00.  How do we come up with that number?  Here is a quick breakdown of some of the unknown costs of a DWI.

Towing Fees

Officers will only give a couple of minutes to find a sober driver to pick up your car.  If you cannot find anyone a tow truck will be called.  The tow will cost any were between $100.00 to $200.00.  The towing company will also charge for impound fees.


Minnesota has mandatory bail for a DWI charge in certain situations, including first time offenders.  Under the mandatory bail statute, the Court is required to set bail at $12,000.00 or the defendant will have to be released with an alcohol testing machine at a cost of about $14.00 a day.

Implied Consent Filing Fee

If you challenge your license loss, a filing fee of $320.00 needs to be paid.  This filing fee will go directly to the county were the DWI arrest took place.

License Reinstatement Cost

To reinstate your driver license it will cost approximately $720.00 depending upon the endorsements an individual has on their license.

Court costs and fines

If a plea agreement is reached a fine will be assessed at sentencing. A first time DWI that was not enhanced, is a misdemeanor which can be sentenced with a fine up to $1,000.00. Additional to the fine is probation costs. Probation will typically add a cost of $100.00 to $250.00 depending on the county. A chemical use assessment is required under Minnesota Law.  A chemical use assessment costs between $150.00 and $250.00 and it not typically covered by insurance. If treatment is required from the assessment, it can cost upwards of$30,000 if inpatient treatment is required. A MADD Victim Impact Panel is also required. The MADD Victim Impact Panel requires payment of cash on the day of the panel and will cost $60.00.

Ignition Interlock

If you need to drive immediately Minnesota only gives you one option and that is the ignition interlock program. Ignition interlock will cost $125.00 a month up for up to 12 months or longer.

Auto Insurance

With a DWI conviction auto insurance premiums will increase on average $116.00 per month from between 3 to 5 years. That is a whopping total of $4,176 to $6,906!

Miscellaneous Costs

  • Life insurance premiums will rise.
  • Loss of a job or not being promoted to a job you deserve.
  • Cost of jail stay.

All of these costs add up quickly. Minnesota prosecutors have limitless resources and will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. That is why it is important you hire an experienced attorney guide you through the process and fight for your rights.

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