How much does a DWI Cost?

A lot of people ask about the costs for a DWI in North Carolina.  While there is no way to put a price on the damage to your reputation, the stress and the massive amount of time lost to court appearances you can look to a few other factors.


The main cost of a DWI in North Carolina is usually the increase in your insurance premiums.  The 12 SDIP points (insurance points)  will result in a 340% increase in your insurance premium.

Aside from SDIP points you're probably looking at the following costs for a first time DWI.  Note that all cases are unique.  Our law firm would be happy to go over your specific situation during a free consultation.

$100 for a limited driving privilege that will cover days 10-30 of the 30 day civil revocations.  Much cheaper than cabs, bumbing rides or risking a DWLR ticket.

$100 for the DWI restoration fee to get your driver's license back after the 30 day civil revocation period.  Now you've got your license back until your plead guilty or are found guilty.  If your case is dismissed or you're found not guilty then you don't have any further costs outside of the gratitude to the great attorney who just saved you a lot of money.

$12 DMV Driving Record needed for your LDP 

Substance Abuse Assesment: ~$100



PLEAD Guilty or Found GUILTY

$190 Court Costs

$100 Fine

$250 Community Service Fee (a must unless you want to serve jail time)

$100 DWI Fee

$100 for a Limited Driving Privilege that covers the one year suspension.

~$160 ADETS: Alcohol/Drug Education Traffic School



  • Total Hard Costs mentioned above: ~$1,212
  • Private attorney costs: A range of between $1,500 to $5,000 in Wake County
  • Huge jump in your insurance premiums: Thousands over three years!
  • Stress & Damage to your Reputation: ?
  • Lost work time for multiple court appearances: ?
  • Cabs and getting friends to drive you around when your LDP doesn't allow you to drive: ?

My best guess is that at the end of the day a DWI will cost the average person around $5,000 to $10,000 in Wake County when you factor in all of the costs after three years.  It makes taking a taxi look cheap!


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.