How A DUI Affects Your Car Insurance

Not that long ago, local and state authorities looked at driving under the influence of alcohol as a minor violation that warranted nothing more than a stern warning and a promise to never do it again. This practice did nothing more than encourage drunk drivers to continue their reckless practices without the threat of jail time, a DUI conviction on their record, or even having their driver licenses revoked.

However, in recent years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) began to publicly voice their concerns about drunk driving. Slowly but surely, state and federal laws were enacted to stop drunk driving. Although drunk driving is still a common occurrence, it no longer goes unnoticed and is punishable with the loss of your driving privileges – and your freedom. If you’ve been caught drinking and driving, you’ve probably paid your debt to society and wonder exactly what auto insurance implications of your DUI conviction you have yet to face.

How Insurance Companies View Your DUI Conviction

Car insurance companies view drivers convicted of driving under the influence as high-risk policy holders, and with good reason. According to MADD, 30 percent of all weekday fatal car crashes are related to drinking and driving; and 51 percent of all fatal weekend automobile accidents are alcohol-related. Therefore, when you drink and drive, you risk putting yourself in the highest category of at-risk drivers, and losing a chance at affordable car insurance for 7 years and beyond.

Because insurance companies immediately impose higher premiums on drivers with DUI convictions, many people who get caught drinking and driving simply stop paying their bill. Additionally, carriers have the legal right to cancel your policy as soon as they are notified by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you’ve been caught drinking and driving.

In fact, many states have granted police officers the authority to suspend or cancel a drunk driver’s license immediately following an accident. Although these situations are bleak in terms of getting you back and forth to work, there is something you can do to get back on the road after your DUI conviction.

An SR-22 Helps Can Help

An SR-22 is a two-fold form that helps you get back behind the wheel after you have been caught drinking and driving. Not that I condone drinking and driving and want to help offenders get around the laws, but people do make mistakes and should be able to continue with their lives to provide for their families. Just remember, you need to be extra careful with your driving habits and make responsible decisions going forward. A second DUI could result in jail time, or worse, someone’s death, including your own.

First, the SR-22 ensures that you maintain state-mandated auto coverage because once you receive it from your insurance company, you must present it to the DMV to get your driver’s license back. For the duration of your SR-22 filing period, generally 1 to 3 years, your car insurance company is legally bound to notify the DMV if it cancels your coverage for any reason. Then, the DMV can automatically revoke your license for the cancellation.

Second, the SR-22 makes it impossible for you to get out of another DUI conviction without your insurance company finding out about the offense. This practice is in place to deter you from considering drunk driving ever again. Although it might seem harsh, SR-22 filings are aimed to keep you from drinking and driving for your own safety and for the safety of all others on the road.

What To Do If Your Insurance Company Cancels Your Coverage

You now know that your insurance company can cancel your policy after you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some states legally allow carriers to cancel your policy in the middle of coverage that you have already paid for, while other states make insurance companies issue you a formal notice of non-renewal when your current policy expires, if that particular provider does not offer SR-22 policies.

Don’t Let Your DUI Stop You From Driving

If you have a problem with alcohol, then get the help you need to stay sober. It’s perfectly respectable to admit mistakes in life, learn from them and move on to become a better person. The first step to moving on and earning the respect of others is to find an insurer that will issue you a SR-22 insurance policy at a affordable rate, allowing drivers to continue working every day and practice making good decisions. Luckily, you do not have to look very far to find a forgiving car insurance company that will equip you with the SR-22 you need to show the DMV that you are serious about never driving drunk again.

Many of these insurance providers can be found online, and even offer free quotes to potential clients. You simply input your zip code, some basic personal contact information, DUI conviction date and vehicle make, model and year to get started. It is especially important that consumers with a DUI compare rates and premiums to find affordable coverage because no one is going to offer the best deal to a driver recently charged with a DUI. You will certainly need to shop around and compare coverage and companies. Good luck!