A driving oil intoxicated (DWI) offense can be very expensive for the Missouri driver accused of impairment at the wheel. Depending on someone’s driving record, the state may impose heavy fines as part of their sentence.
Frequently, drivers trying to decide the best way to handle pending DWI charges will look at those fines as the full cost of the charges. However, the courts will potentially also expect you to pay for your time in court. Beyond that, there are numerous secondary expenses which can quickly add up to significantly increase the financial impact of a DWI charge.
Your cost for insurance will increase
The premium your insurance company charges for your liability insurance is a direct reflection of your driving history. The more infractions you have had or the more crashes that you caused which have resulted in insurance claims, the more you will pay for coverage.
DWI offenses are an indication that someone is at high risk of causing a collision and therefore, such offenses have a major impact on someone’s insurance costs. According to an industry analysis, the average insurance cost for a Missouri driver is $1,736 per year. After a DWI conviction, those costs increase by 34% to an average of $2,332.
There can be professional consequences
The financial impact of a DWI charge can become much more significant if there are career consequences for a professional. Many employers have contracts with a zero-tolerance approach to criminal convictions during someone’s employment.
Pleading guilty could cost you your job. Even if you don’t have such strict terms in your employment contract, the work that you miss due to jail time or court proceedings could result in write-ups and penalties at work.
Criminal convictions can also affect your professional licensing. People in many different professions have to adhere to a code of ethics to secure and maintain a state-level professional license. Criminal convictions can violate the standards set by licensing boards and may lead to disciplinary hearings and the loss of someone’s professional license.
For many people accused of an impaired driving offense, defending against those charges is a better option than pleading guilty and hoping to keep costs low. Understanding the true impact of a DWI charge can help those recently arrested for alleged impaired driving offenses.