We all make mistakes. Getting a DUI is not only painful emotionally, but it could also cost you financially. The cost of an average DUI is around $10,000 and that does not include any lost wages.
Initial costs include the cost of towing, bail, legal fees, court fines and expenses for alcohol education. Perhaps the greatest expense of a DUI is the higher auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies find drivers with a DUI record to be risky and raise premiums. Your current insurance provider may even drop you after a DUI.
What is a DUI?
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence of substances that impair your driving. These may include:
- Prescription drugs
- Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, morphine, heroin, LSD, etc.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a certain level (0.08 percent or higher), it is illegal in all 50 states. Even if your BAC was below the allowable threshold, you could be charged if it can be proved that your driving was impaired due to a combination of two or more of the substances mentioned above.
If you were driving drunk and were involved in an accident, will the insurer cover the damages?
If you are in an accident because you are drunk or under the influence of drugs, you will be covered up to the limits of the policy even if you are at fault. This includes damage to your vehicle, damage to someone else’s vehicle and property, and any injuries that occurred as a result of the accident.
How long does a DUI have an effect on your auto insurance rates?
A DUI will affect your auto insurance premiums as long as it stays on your driving record. How long it stays on your driving record varies from state to state – it may be anywhere from three to seven years. Typically, your insurance rates will return to normal after the DUI drops off your record.
It is important to remember that the DUI will remain on your criminal records even after it drops off your driving record. That could have an impact on you when you are trying to get a job. Some states allow you to get the DUI removed from your criminal record.
How much do insurance premiums go up after a DUI?
The increase in rates varies widely across insurers. The average increase is between 30-125% and Progressive says that its rate go up only 6% on average after the first DUI. The average dollar increase is around $1100 nationally. Your rates are influenced by other factors such as your age, accidents and speeding tickets on your record.
How can you get a cheap rate after DUI?
Expect your rates to go up after a DUI. But shop around. You should shop around even under normal circumstances. Consider using an agent to get quotes from multiple insurers. Agents may have experience working with DUI drivers and may have knowledge of companies that offer reasonable rates.
What if you are denied coverage due to DUI?
Many states offer high-risk insurance pools to cover drivers who have too many accidents or a very poor driving recorded. Eligibility varies by state, so review the criteria for your state. Usually, in order to qualify, you will need to be turned down at least once by traditional insurance companies.
Do you need an SR 22?
Not all states require SR 22, so check your state requirements. But many states require SR22, which is a certificate of insurance that proves that you have car insurance. Your insurance provider will file these forms with the DMV for a small fee on your behalf.
SR22 is mandated by these states after a DUI or DWI conviction, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license or too many points on your license or driving without insurance coverage.
Dealing with a DUI can be financially quite difficult. Your current insurance company may raise rates significantly or even drop you. Shop around for the best rates and consider using an agent. Over time, your rates will return to normal as the DUI drops off your driving record. Many states have high-risk pools for drivers who are denied insurance by traditional carriers.