THE TRUE COST OF A DUIDIf you are placed under arrest in California for driving under the influence of drugs – DUID – it’s going to cost you, and if you’re convicted of DUID, that cost is going to be substantial. Beyond the obvious – a fine of up to $1,000 – what is the real cost of a DUID conviction? Keep reading, and you’ll find that $1,000 fine is just the first of your losses if you are convicted of DUID.

You’ll also learn that even if you don’t drink alcohol, you still need to understand DUID if you drive in California. Why? Because prescription drugs and even over-the-counter medicines can impair anyone’s driving capacity – and so can cannabis and illegal drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. A driver under the influence of any legal or illegal drug can be charged with DUID.

If you’re convicted, what will it cost? In 2013, the Automobile Club of Southern California calculated that a misdemeanor first-offense DUI conviction in our state can cost up to $15,649 for adults and up to $22,492 for minors. DUID penalties are comparable to DUI penalties, so those figures are a good place to start, although the costs have surely increased since 2013.


The first thing you’ll need to do if you are arrested for DUID is to retain the advice and services of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney. Candidly and frankly, hiring a lawyer will cost you some money, but it can also save you a substantial amount of money over time. The cost of an attorney is going to be different in each case because each case is unique.

A DUI lawyer will examine the details of the DUID charge against you and try to find a way to have the charge dismissed or reduced. Obtaining legal help is the very first thing anyone charged with DUID must do. If you’re arrested, be cooperative with the police, but insist on your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present during any questioning.

Your attorney will explain and protect your rights and work for the best possible resolution of your drugged driving case. If your DUID case goes to a trial before a jury, it’s going to cost more than a case that’s dismissed or resolved with a plea bargain. Most antidepressant DUID attorneys in California will work with you, and most offer several types of reasonable payment plans.


Good Ambien DUID lawyers will advocate aggressively on a defendant’s behalf and use every appropriate legal tool available. If the DUID charge can be dismissed or reduced, your DUI lawyer can find a way to do that. If your case goes to trial, your Xanax DUID attorney will challenge and cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case against you.

If the evidence against you is overwhelming, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain or a reduced or alternative sentence. But you’ll need to have a trustworthy Orange County DUI attorney – someone who routinely handles DUID cases – working on your behalf. You can’t do it on your own; DUID cases can be quite complicated, and far too much is at risk.

The court will impose fines and fees on a defendant convicted of DUID. The minimum fine is $390; the maximum is $1,000. The court then adds “penalties and assessments” that could run as high as $2,600. Most defendants convicted of a first-time California DUID will also be ordered by the court to participate in drug treatment or to attend DUI or drug education classes.


You’ll have to pay “tuition” for the DUI or drug classes. Each program is different, but a DUID offender should presume that the cost of a three-month program or class will be about $600. If a suspect’s vehicle is towed and stored – and that’s typical with a DUID arrest – every storage yard is different, but it’s generally going to cost about $350 to have the vehicle released.

In most cases where the defendant is convicted of driving while high, a six-month driver’s license suspension is included as part of the sentence. When the offender becomes eligible to have his or her driver’s license reinstated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the cost of the reinstatement fee is $125.

So far, we’ve noted the cost of an pain medication DUID attorney, of fines, penalties, and assessments, classes, towing and storage, and the reinstatement of a DUID offender’s driver’s license, but we still haven’t touched on what’s genuinely the most costly aspect of a DUID conviction – your automobile insurance rates.


Your auto insurance rates will jump after a conviction for DUID, DUI, or wet reckless, and they’ll probably stay high permanently. Additionally, an SR22 form is required to reinstate your driver’s license following any license suspension or revocation. The SR22 is provided by your auto insurer and confirms that you meet minimal California requirements for auto liability coverage.

Your auto insurance company will forward a copy of the SR22 form to the California DMV, and your driver’s license can then be reinstated. Some companies will charge $25 or $50 to file your SR22. What will a California SR22 policy cost? The exact price will vary among auto insurance companies and will depend on factors like your age and your driving record.

If you need SR22 coverage, shop around. As a DUID offender, you will pay a higher premium for minimum coverage because you are considered a “high risk” driver. Note that not every auto insurance company offers SR22 coverage, and some drivers convicted of DUID will end up looking for a new auto insurance provider.


Yes, it is difficult to put a precise monetary figure on the cost of a DUID conviction in California, but two things are certain about that cost. First, it’s going to be different for every person. Secondly, it’s going to fall roughly between $16,000 and $20,000. If you need to ride buses or taxis while your license is suspended, you can add that cost to the total as well.

The key, of course, is to avoid a DUID arrest. If you smoke pot, don’t drive until you’re “straight” again. If you take prescription medicines, discuss their influence on your driving ability with your doctor or your pharmacist. Read the directions carefully – and follow them – whenever you use any medication.

If you have any doubt whatsoever about your capacity to drive, don’t. Call Uber, Lyft, or a limo or taxicab. Have a friend drive. Do not get behind the wheel if you might be under the influence of any drug. Of course, if you do make a judgment mistake – or if you’re falsely accused of DUID – legal assistance is here, and an experienced Orange County marijuana DUID attorney can help.


Orange County DUI Attorney | 92612 | Todd A. Landgren, Attorney at Law | California
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