How Much Will a DUI Cost?

DUIs are expensive and usually involve paying fees to many different entities. The following is a brief description of different types of fees that one might expect to pay as a result of a DUI case in Tennessee. Most of these are mandated by law if you are convicted as charged for DUI. If you settle a DUI charge for a non-DUI offense, such as reckless driving, your sentence may include some or all of the following as well.

Fines. If you plead guilty to a DUI offense there are certain minimum fines that must be assessed under the law. Likewise, if you settle your DUI charge to a non-DUI plea, a fine may be part of a negotiated settlement. The mandatory minimum fine for a first offense DUI charge in Tennessee is $350. Fines are paid to the court clerk's office.

Court costs. You will likely be assessed court costs as part of the resolution to your case. The amount of court costs can vary widely and depend upon a number of factors that vary on a case-by-case basis. You will likely have court costs of at least $300, but you may have court costs of $1200 or more. As with fines, court costs are paid to the court clerk's office.

Probation Fees. If you are placed on probation, you will likely be assessed a monthly supervision fee. These fees are usually in the range of $30-$45 a month. In most counties you will pay this fee directly to the probation office.

Alcohol Education Course. A common condition of probation is that you attend and complete an alcohol education course. You may have a choice of more than one provider for this course. There will be a fee to take this course that will be paid to the provider. Each provider charges a different fee for this course but expect to pay approximately $180.

Victim Impact Panel. An increasingly common condition of DUI related settlement agreements include a requirement that you attend a victim impact panel. These are often produced by a local chapter of Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD). You will be charged a fee to attend this presentation. Expect a fee of approximately $35 payable to the group that produces the presentation.

Ignition Interlock Devices. If you are required to place an ignition interlock device on your car, you will have installation fees, monthly monitoring fees, and removal fees. Installation fees average around $150. Monthly monitoring fees average around $80. And, expect a removal fee of approximately $20.

Restricted Drivers License Related Fees. If your license is revoked as a result of a DUI conviction or an implied consent violation, you will likely want to apply for a restricted drivers license. To obtain a restricted drivers license, you must file a SR-22 proof of insurance form with the state. The costs for this vary from insurance company to insurance company. The court clerk will charge an application fee of approximately $25 and you also be assessed a $67 fee from the Department of Safety. The state may require you to file SR-22 for three to five years.