Driving under the influence holds several consequences. Not just with the lives of yourself and others on the road but also with your ability to drive and have car insurance. Of course, there are also legal penalties like fines and possible jail time. But this post covers the car insurance consequences of getting a DUI conviction. You may be required to get affordable SR-22 insurance in order to get your suspended license back or have some difficulty finding affordable car insurance. However, it’s not impossible.
Insurance Rates And a DUI
A DUI will stay on your driver’s record for about ten years. During this decade, any more DUI violations can severely increase your penalties. Your car insurance provider will become aware of your DUI when they look at your driver’s record during your policy renewal period. A DUI, DWI, or OWI (whatever your state identifies as driving under the influence) is a major offense. Once your auto insurer notices it, they will increase your auto rates anywhere from 31% to 47%. That’s roughly three to five times higher than the average insurance rate. If it isn’t your first offense, they may drop you as a policyholder altogether.
How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?
This depends on your insurer and the state where you were convicted. A DUI can affect your premiums anywhere from three to seven years. You may begin to see improvements if you maintain safe driving habits for three years. However, good driving discounts will not be available for ten years -or until the DUI is removed from your driving record.
DUIs And SR22 Insurance
Often referred to as DUI car insurance, SR22 insurance will be pivotal in reinstating your suspended license. An SR22 isn’t an auto insurance policy but rather a certification stating that you carry an auto policy that satisfies your state’s car insurance requirements. This is needed for high-risk drivers with several traffic violations or a DUI on their record. The SR22 is filed through your car insurance provider with your state’s
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your state may have what is known as an FR44 which functions just as an SR22 does.
An SR22 does not have a monthly premium you must pay; rather, it’s a $15 to $25 filing fee. The cost of your car insurance will be affected by your DUI conviction, as previously mentioned. Insurance providers will look at factors other than your DUI to determine your rates like age, residence, and driving record. Remember that if your insurance lapses or you fail to maintain your SR22, your filing period will reset, and your license may be suspended again. SR22s are typically required to be maintained for three years.
DUIs And Restricted Driver’s License
Drivers with DUIs also have the option of getting a restricted driver’s license after their offense. This still requires an SR22 and an auto insurance policy satisfying the state’s minimum requirements. The restricted license limits the driver only to work commutes. For any other reason, the driver is not allowed to drive.
The process of getting a restricted license involves paying your fines, attending a state-approved DUI course, filing your SR22, and paying a fee of $125. Depending on your DUI conviction, there will be a period of time when you will not be able to get a restricted license. First-time offenders can’t get a restricted license until a month after their violation, while second-time offenders can’t get one for a year