One of the most stressful things that can happen when driving your car is getting a DUI. This is a major driving offense in every state and, rightly so, can create severe hardship for anyone convicted.
You will not only be facing loss of your right to drive, but you will need to shell out lots of money for lawyers, fines and court costs. On top of that, your car insurance rates will skyrocket following a DUI conviction.
Getting a DUI is a long-term hassle, and it’s made to be this way to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have been drinking. If you have been charged with or convicted of a DUI, here is what you will be facing.
DUI and Your Driving Record
Every state has its own rules about drunk driving charges and your vehicle history. How long a DUI remains on your driving record varies but is generally about five years. Some states, however, have tougher consequences. In California and Pennsylvania, for instance, you will live with your DUI on your driving record for ten years. And in Texas, it never leaves your record.
What this means for you is that any time you need to purchase auto insurance, the insurance company will see your DUI. This immediately indicates to the insurance company that you are a high-risk driver. Even if the DUI was years ago and you have not had an incident since, this event will always put you in the high-risk category and mean that you will be paying much higher premium rates than a driver with a clean record.
How Much More Will it Cost?
Again, every state is different, but nationwide estimates show that the average increase in premiums in the first year after you get a DUI is over ninety-four percent. As you move farther away from event, two or three years later, your rates will come down slightly, as long as you have not had any new driving incidents.
Until your record is clean again, you will likely be required to purchase a high-risk driver auto insurance policy.
How to Help Yourself
The best way to get out from under a DUI is to keep your record clean. Be a responsible driver, obey traffic and driving laws, and drive defensively to avoid accidents. In addition, make sure you keep your credit history in good order for better rates. You should also look at bundling and multi-vehicle and driver discounts to take advantage of any savings you can find.
If you remain out of trouble, eventually, your rates will come back to normal.
A High-Risk Driver Auto Insurance Policy
Meanwhile, you may need to find a high-risk policy. It used to be difficult to find an insurer to cover a high-risk driver after a DUI. Now, there are several insurance providers who issue high-risk driver insurance policies, also known as non-standard insurance policies.
Because the cost of a DUI might easily exceed $10,000 including lawyer costs, fines, fees and higher insurance rates, you’ll want to shop around to find any potential savings.
You can use the InsuranceWins form to get quotes for high-risk driver auto insurance and at least know you are saving as much as possible.