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How Will A DUI or DWI Affect My Car Insurance Rates?

Are you an individual that was arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence)? If so, it is important to know that anytime you are caught engaging in any illegal activity as a driver, your insurance rates are going to be subject to increase. Not only is driving under the influence 100% illegal, but if you do it, you are endangering yourself and other drivers. If you get pulled over by a police officer for DWI (driving while intoxicated), you could face jail time and get your license revoked for a long period of time.

If you think about how dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance is – the facts show that someone is involved in an accident approximately every 30 minutes as a result. This means that there are over 48 victims from drunk driving on a daily basis. If you are convicted with a DUI, it can have a huge impact on all aspects of your life. Not only will you experience social stigma, but you may not be able to drive for an extended period of time – making it tough for you to get where you want in the comfort of your own vehicle. If you are lucky, you will be able to avoid going to jail – but that is only if you’re lucky.

What is classified as a “DUI”?

Anytime an individual is caught driving with a blood alcohol level that is equal to or greater than “.08” percent, they can be arrested. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, you can be arrested on the spot and face just as significant of repercussions. Why? Because if you are under age, it is illegal to drink alcohol in the first place, let alone take the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Not only will you likely get a massive fine as a result of your DUI, but your license could be suspended or revoked. What a lot of people don’t realize is that DUI/DWI’s are not limited specifically to driving cars. You could be convicted for driving a motorcycle, riding a boat, ATV, Jet Ski, or snowmobile. So make sure that you are not ever driving drunk in any type of motor vehicle because you could be arrested.

What happens when someone gets a DUI?

If someone gets pulled over by a police officer, he will first do a check on their license plate and verify some general information. Then he may issue a breathalyzer test if he suspects that the driver may be driving under the influence a.k.a. driving drunk. Sometimes the officer may issue a walking test where you will be required to walk in a straight line, balance on one foot, and/or recite the entire alphabet in reverse order – these are all forms of sobriety tests.

If you do not pass the sobriety test, you could be arrested for drunk driving. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test that an officer issues, you can still get arrested and a license suspension. Not only will you be arrested, but you will be put in jail and whether someone will be able to post bail will depend entirely on the severity and overall profile of the individual arrested. Obviously if they are a convicted felon, they probably will not be allowed to post bail.

Most people convicted of drunk driving are issued a fine as well as sent to jail. If the driver pleads innocent in court to the conviction, a judge will review the evidence presented from each of the attorneys and make a decision. Generally the judge will side with the police officer because they usually have solid evidence to prove that the individual was driving drunk. If you know that you were drunk driving, it is generally best to take a plea bargain and plead guilty to what you did instead of try to lie your way out of it (which can create more trouble).

The financial costs of a DUI/DWI

Most people may be really upset when they get the fine for a DUI because it can be well over $15,000. In some cases the fine ends up well over $20,000. It really depends on the circumstances (including state and local laws) as far as the fine is concerned. In addition to the initial DUI fine, there will be court fees, and even more costs to repair damages if you’re involved in a car accident. Not only will the cost be significant, but your car insurance rates will be affected if you are convicted.

How DUI’s affect car insurance costs and rates

Not only will it be a lot more difficult to get a good car insurance policy if you have a DUI, but it will raise your existing premiums to match your level of risk as a driver. You will be classified as a high risk driver and will be charged more money to compensate the insurer for the additional risk that they are taking on. If your charges are very severe, your insurance company may notify you that they no longer will be able to provide you with insurance based on your actions – which put you at too high of risk.

It may take years before you risk level stabilizes after getting a DUI. So the best thing that you can possibly do for yourself is be smart right now. If you don’t yet have a DUI conviction, make sure that it stays that way – don’t ever take the risk of driving drunk. If you have already been charged with driving under the influence, hopefully you learned your lesson and are able to still get adequate insurance for a reasonable rate.

Be sure to compare quotes using the free tool at the top of the page to see which company can offer you the best overall deal on your next car insurance policy!

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