How Much Does a DUI Cost in Nevada: Direct and Indirect Costs

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We have all seen the signs at the courthouse, police station, in hospitals about how much a DUI can cost you financially. It always says your first DUI can cost you about ten thousand dollars.

What that means is the total costs of all the fines and penalties as well as insurance premiums and legal fees.

DUI is an expensive offense and can take years to recover from.

If you get more than one DUI within a seven years period the fines and fees could double and include more than financial hardship, it could actually involve a jail sentence.

Losing your license can pose another set of financial problems like having to pay to get to and from work or even not getting a job once you’ve been convicted of a DUI and it does happen.

Even though DUI is a misdemeanor, it is still a crime and shows up on your record when a background check is run for a job. We all know how detailed the background checks are for a job in any casino (or any job for that matter) and if convicted of DUI you might not get the job that you are otherwise qualified for.

There are some ways to mitigate the financial burden a DUI can cause but you need to hire a DUI legal specialist to help you.

What Are the Costs of a DUI Arrest

DUI’s are not just a case of going to court paying the fines and maybe going to jail. DUI offenses require a lot of time and money to be done over the course of several months or years depending on if it’s your first offense or not.

Some of the most common costs are:

Court Fines

Court fees are imposed by the court based on the offense.

For a first DUI offense, the court fee may be anywhere from $400 to $1000. An additional fee of approximately $250 will be assessed as the court fee and the other is fine for the offense. For a second DUI conviction, the fines can be anywhere from $750-$1000 and court fees, and for a third DUI offense, the fine plus court fees can be anywhere from $2000-$5000.

As you can see the more DUI offenses the higher the fines. Court fines can be paid over time with a payment plan but it is always best to pay them right away. Failing to pay your court fines can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and additional penalties added on.

Court Costs

These are additional fees that pay the administration fees for the court.

Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Courses

No matter how many DUI offenses you are charged with, if convicted you will be required to attend Alcohol education classes or traffic safety courses.

You will also have to take a victim impact course given by groups like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The costs of these classes are the responsibility of the defendant. The costs vary depending on the course required. They also involve attending classes for a specific period of time like an 8-hour traffic safety course.

Failing to sign up and attend can also result in a warrant for your arrest.

Alcohol and Drug Testing

If your BAC was really high or it’s not your first offense the court may require periodic testing. You will be required to pay for all costs associated with all drug and alcohol tests.

This may also be a part of a probation agreement.

If you’re placed on probation for a DUI you will be required to test at random.

Ignition Interlock Device

This is a small device the size of a cell phone that is installed by a certified IID provider near the steering column of your car.

At the other end is a blow device that you blow into before you attempt to start your car. If there is no trace of alcohol your car will start. If there is any trace of alcohol with a BAC of .02% or higher your car won’t start. This device allows you to drive while your license is suspended to and from work or school.

There is a cost for installation, removal, a monthly monitoring and service fee, and fees to have it calibrated every 60 or 90 days. The costs are all your responsibility and this device can cost more than fines or fees.

Insurance Surcharges

Once you’ve been convicted of DUI and your license is suspended the DMV will notify your insurance company.

In some cases, your insurance company will drop you as a client due to excessive risk. If that does happen you’ll have to find new coverage. In either case, keeping your old insurance or getting new, your insurance cost will significantly rise for at least three years.

Motor Vehicle Fees

If convicted of DUI in Nevada you will be required to get an SR-22 for insurance through the DMV for your license and or vehicle.

This is an extra policy via the DMV that you must carry on your license for three years from the date of conviction. You will also have to pay reinstatement fees when you get your license back.

Indirect Costs

These are costs that are not directly a fee or penalty from the DUI conviction but are related because of the DUI.

For example, not getting a better-paying job because of the DUI conviction. Another example is having to pay for either mass transit or rideshare regularly to get around or to work.


Yes, jail costs money.

If you’re arrested, you may need to post bail.

If you’re on your second DUI or your third you will have to do due jail time.

This may just be processing to get released or to serve time. If you work and have a job, you may be able to go to jail to avoid losing your job. To do weekend jail you’ll have to pay for the service and you serve weekends until you have served your sentence. Sometimes in lieu of jail, you can do hours of community service.

Maximum Penalties vs. Minimum Penalties

All the penalties and fines mentioned above are the costs of being convicted of a DUI. However, some of the costs can be minimized or maximized based on many circumstances.

  1. Is this your first offense or do you have more than one arrest for DUI
  2. Do you have any other criminal charges or convictions
  3. Was there an accident during the DUI offense
  4. How High was your BAC
  5. Your cooperation with the police at the time of your arrest
  6. Your cooperation with the court

In some cases, if you have no previous criminal record or no previous DUI the court can impose the minimum fines and penalties. For example, the court fines may be only $600 instead of $1000.

On the other hand, if you are on your third DUI arrest and have another conviction for a different crime, the court fine might be a maximum of $5000.

An attorney that specializes in DUI cases advocates for you to get the minimum penalties even if you are convicted. If your case is reduced to reckless driving (very rare) the court can still impose all the DUI penalties even though you haven’t been convicted of DUI.

If you are found not guilty then no fines or penalties will be issued to you.

Why Hire The Defenders for DUI in Nevada

The Defenders are expert DUI litigators with many years of DUI experience.

We offer:

  1. To investigate your case to make sure your arrest was processed correctly under the law
  2. To give written notice in the time allotted for and attend your DMV hearing
  3. Work to get your fines and penalties reduced
  4. Help you navigate all of the fines and penalties that you are facing if convicted of a DUI
  5. If possible get the DUI charge reduced to reckless driving
  6. After conviction, if convicted we can get your conviction sealed after a three-year period if not other DUI arrest
  7. We offer a free consultation and case review so you know what to expect from your case

DUI’s are costly with fines and penalties but can have a lasting effect on your life for the foreseeable future. The choice you make today can have an enormous effect on your case and what happens down the road.

Don’t let just anyone handle something this important.

Call Nevada’s Best DUI Lawyers today, call The Defenders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I don’t pay my DUI fines?

If you fail to make your payments or completely ignore the court order, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Additionally, a hold can also be placed on your driver’s license and registration until the entire amount is paid off.

What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor DUI?

Generally, a first-time DUI offense will be charged as a misdemeanor. A felony DUI usually occurs when you have multiple prior DUI convictions or if someone was injured during the incident. Penalties for misdemeanors are usually less severe than those for felonies.

How long do I have to pay my fines?

You will have to pay your DUI fines within a certain time period. Usually, this is set by the court and you can expect to receive a notification if any payments are due. Depending on the severity of your case, it may take up to two years or more before all fines are paid in full.

How much does a DUI cost in Nevada?

The average DUI in Nevada can cost upwards of $10,000 when taking into account all of the fines, penalties, attorney’s fees, and other associated costs. However, this number will vary depending on the individual case and circumstances.

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