Insurance Rates After a DUI
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
New York State requires all registered vehicles to carry driver's insurance. The good news is that this simplifies accident situations and allows for the No- Fault statute to exist. The bad news is that the status of your insurance rates are ever subject to change, depending on issues that come up while driving. Your insurance rates will be directly impacted by your driving habits, and your monthly premium payments can quickly become a huge chunk of a personal budget.
One of the nastiest webs to navigate is obtaining insurance while having one or more DUI convictions on your record. In most cases, even a first-time conviction will cause your insurance rate to skyrocket. Further convictions to DUIs or drug and alcohol related offenses will continue to exponentially increase premiums. These can include collateral convictions to matters other than DUIs, such as refusals to submit to chemical tests.
License revocations and suspensions are part and parcel of the DUI process. Insurers have the discretion to stop coverage or forego renewal once your license is jeopardized by a drug or alcohol conviction. Obtaining coverage from a different insurer will foreseeably become more difficult after this. In certain cases, it may then become necessary to obtain "SR-22" insurance coverage. This certificate is used specifically to show proof of financial responsibility and supplements your regular insurance.
Most drivers are unaware of the future consequences of pleas offered in DUI cases. There have been times when a seemingly advantageous plea comes around to bite a driver down the line. Depending on the resolution of your DUI case, your convictions may be visible for 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, and so on. Insurance providers will be able to see all of this and increase your rates as they see fit.
If you are facing a first time DUI, it is wise to have an attorney guide you through the process. Attorneys know the side effects of pleas and are tasked with reducing as much harm as they can. One of these long-term side effects are insurance rates. If you are facing a subsequent DUI, it is even more prudent to consult an attorney that regularly handles DWI’s. Driving history and convictions are stacked against drivers, and attorneys know which avenues to use to protect your record.