How does a DUI affect your car insurance? This is one of the questions that Christopher J McCann, an experienced and skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney, with more than 12 years of experience representing people charged with felony charges like DUI offenses, drug crimes and assault has dealt with on almost a daily basis.
Most people hardly think of driving under the influence as a serious crime. However, the penalties for driving while intoxicated are quite grave. In addition to the suspension of your driver’s license, you may be compelled to attend compulsory alcohol treatment classes, pay monetary fines or even serve some time in jail.
However, one of the greatest consequences of a drunken driving conviction is increased auto insurance cost. As per the alcohol laws used in California, when you are arrested and convicted of a DUI offense, you have to report the issue to your car insurance provider. Therefore, it is important to seek the counsel of a DUI lawyer, if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated in order to try and prevent the impact the charges may have on your auto insurance.
Listed below are 3 ways through which a DUI conviction may affect your car insurance:
1. Increased Premiums
A drunken driving conviction automatically makes you eligible for the high-risk driver category. Reckless driving also places your car at a greater risk of being involved in an accident. Therefore, it is only natural for your auto insurance provider to increase the amount paid in premiums in order to safeguard against losses occasioned by your careless driving.
Moreover, there are a number of auto insurance companies that will maintain the premium rates high until time when the penalty points are taken off the department of motor vehicle record. Then again, the duration of time when the penalties are eliminated from the department of motor vehicle record will hinge from one state to another.
On average, it takes between 2 and 55 years for the records to be removed. The duration of time mainly depends on the gravity of the DUI charge. If there are fatalities and injuries, then it may take slightly longer for the points to be removed. Consulting a DUI Lawyer will enable you to know how long you will have to endure with the high premiums.
Paying increased sums of money in insurance premiums cannot be compared to the cancellation of your auto insurance policy. There are a number of insurance providers that will cease from providing you with auto insurance coverage the instant you are declared a high-risk driver. Insurance providers have been known for taking drunken driving convictions seriously and will tend to apply caution when dealing with persons convicted of drinking and driving. Getting favorable insurance rates from a different company the instant your auto insurance policy has been cancelled is quite minimal if they know you are a high-risk driver.
Following a drunken driving conviction, you may also be required to obtain SR-22. An SR-22 is a document issued by your insurance provider indicating the status of your car insurance policy. Upon the expiry of the car insurance coverage, your California driver’s license will be suspended.
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Guest Post Author:
Christopher J. McCann is a practicing Orange County DUI lawyers at the law offices of Christopher J. McCann, who was recently awarded his 6th SuperLawyers Magazine “Rising Star” award. You can follow Chris tweets at @cjm_law_firm
Given the burden that you have to bear following a drunken driving conviction, it is recommended that you get in touch with Christopher J McCann immediately after a DUI arrest so that he can advise you on the best way to move forward.