The Cost of a DWI

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) Some of the biggest risks involved with drinking and driving come in the potential for injuring yourself or others, but if you are arrested and lucky enough not to hurt anyone, there is still quite the cost that lands solely on the driver.

"You're probably looking in the basement of almost 12 to 15 thousand dollars," local DWI attorney Michael Taheri said.

Breaking it down, a first time DWI conviction comes with its share of fees; from towing costs the night of the arrest, to conditional license fees, court fees, release fees, etc. That doesn't even come close to one of the biggest, attorney fees.

"Attorneys fees just for a standard DWI can range from 1500 dollars and over 3500 dollars," Taheri added.

Convicted drivers will also face changes to their insurance, over the course of three to five years, totaling in the thousands.

"The alcohol related offense will be treated as a rate increase, a very severe rate increase, if the company decides to keep the insured at all," local insurance agent Tim Lynch said.

The financial toll is something Rick Maynard knows all about. He was convicted of DWI in 1999.

"Conservatively I'd say that I spent at least 20 thousand dollars," Maynard said.

"There is no more expensive crime than a first time DWI charge," Taheri added.