Even a first offense DUI in Massachusetts can cost thousands of dollars and many of the costs are “hidden.” It starts with the towing and storage fees. Under Melanie’s Law, the police are required to tow and impound vehicles of those drivers who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test. The police may tow other vehicles where there is no licensed driver immediately available to drive the vehicle away from the DUI arrest scene. Towing and storage costs approximately $150.00.
Next, it will cost $40.00 to get “bailed out.” This fee is charged even when someone is released on personal recognizance. It is paid to the bail commissioner at the time of the DUI defendant’s release from custody and a person cannot get released without paying the fee. Most Police Department rules prevent police officers from lending defendants this money.
Those arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts are required to appear at the next sitting of the District Court for arraignment. Failure to appear will result in the issuance of a DUI arrest warrant. This usually requires the defendant to take time off from work.
Most good Massachusetts Lawyers who specialize in DUI charge between $5,000 and $10,000.00. Good lawyers aren’t cheap and cheap lawyers aren’t good. Legal fees usually represent the largest expense in a Massachusetts First Offense DUI case.
Those convicted of DUI or those who “plead out,” meaning that they make an admission to sufficient facts and have their cases continued without a finding pursuant to G.L. c. § 24D must complete an approved First Offender DUI Alcohol Education Program. This program costs approximately $600.00 and it requires participants to attend weekly sessions. This may result in more lost time from work.
The court fees and costs associated with a first offense DUI are as follows: $50 victim witness assessment fee, $50 victim witness fee, $250 head injury fee, $250 OUI fee and $65 per month probation fee which totals $780 for the one year of probation. In addition to these fees, the fine for a first offense DUI ranges from $500.00 to $5,000.00.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles will impose a $500.00 reinstatement fee for the DUI suspension as well as an additional fee in the amount of $500.00 for reinstatement of a license which was suspended due to a breathalyzer refusal. The Registry also charges a separate reinstatement fee for administrative per se license reinstatements. This fee is charged when drivers who take the breathalyzer and score at or above .08 reinstate their licenses.
As explained above, a first offense DUI will cost thousands of dollars in the form of lost work, fines, fees, court costs, and the like. This does not include substantially increased insurance premiums which will result from a DUI conviction.