How Much Does a DUI Cost in Colorado?

We all have experienced this situation or something like it:

You’re driving to a party or a picnic, not thinking about whether or not there will be alcohol. Maybe it’s a work party or a public event. You get there, and it turns out you can have a few beers. So you partake, both because they’re free (!) and everyone else seems to be doing it. Unfortunately, when the time comes to leave, you may have had one too many drinks. Not enough to become drunk, but you are feeling a bit buzzed.

So you’re a little conflicted. Sure, you might be a bit too tipsy to drive, but you don’t have a designated driver, and you’re afraid your car might get towed. You also don’t want to inconvenience anyone at the event or call someone at home. And cabs and rideshare apps are too expensive for the distance you want to drive.

So what do you do?

If you don’t drive, you run the risk of paying an annoying amount of money in cab, parking, or towing fees. But by driving, you run the risk of getting caught driving under the influence (DUI) if a police officer pulls you over or if you hit a DUI checkpoint.

But how much does a DUI really cost? Especially when compared to the price of getting a cab and maybe even towing your car?

Great question. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of different costs you’ll be faced with if you’re convicted of a DUI. Keep in mind that many of these costs are rough estimates: fees associated with towing, renting an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), and car storage vary depending on the facilities you are using. 

Some of the costs associated with a first DUI conviction in Colorado include:

First Conviction Fee … $800

Detoxification Fee … $455

Chemical Testing Fee … $75

Victim Compensation & Assistance Fees … $100

Law Enforcement Assistant Fee (LEAF) … $90

Towing Fees … $150

Jail Fee … $50

Bail Fee … $150

Court Fee … $20

Probation Supervision Fee … $600

License Reinstatement/Retesting … $100

Renting an IID … $1,000

Alcohol Education Classes … $600

Community Service Supervision Fee … $50

So, for your first DUI conviction, simple court costs and penalty fees can cost you over $4200.

And depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, you may face additional fees. If you are found with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher, even if it’s your first conviction, you will be labeled as a Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD). You will face sentencing as if you are a habitual DUI offender, and you may face additional fees of up to $500.

Still think it’s not worth it to get a cab home? Keep reading…

Additional Costs and Consequences

Denver DUI Lawyer

The costs and consequences of a DUI don’t stop after you have served your sentence. You may face additional costs when your insurance payments skyrocket. If your license has been suspended, you may face the additional cost of using public transportation, cabs, or rideshare apps to get to and from work every day.

That is, of course, if you are still able to work at your job. Many companies take DUI very seriously, and a conviction may result you losing your job.

If you were charged with DUI after getting into an accident, you may also have to pay the victims for any property damages or injuries that you caused.

Bottom line: you’re going to wish you only had to pay $4200.

But hindsight is 20/20, right? If you knew that you were going to get slapped with a DUI, of course you wouldn’t have driven. Going back in time, however, isn’t an option. The only thing you can do now to make your situation better is to hire a good defense attorney who can work to get your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced. And make sure you act fast – the more time a lawyer has to craft a strong defense, the better your chances are.

About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.