How Does a DUI Impact Insurance?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a surefire way to make sure you need a traffic lawyer Los Angeles in the near future. If the police catch you, then you could face a suspended driver’s license, excessive fines and jail time. There are also consequences you may not think about at the moment. For example, you will have to pay more for your auto insurance if you have a DUI on your record. A suspended license lawyer San Francisco can help you stay out of jail, but you may not be able to avoid paying more in insurance.

Loss of Safe Driver Discount

Many insurance companies offer a safe driver discount. As long as you do not get on the wrong side of the law, you can save hundreds of dollars every year. However, once the police arrest you for DUI, that safe driver discount is gone. Your insurance rates will automatically go up as a result, and they may increase more than you are expecting.

Switch to the High-Risk Division

Once you have a DUI on your record, you are considered a high-risk driver. That means insurance companies will charge you more if you want coverage. There are some companies that specialize in offering coverage to high-risk drivers, but it will be double or sometimes triple what you would pay ordinarily. That is provided you can even find coverage in the first place.

Loss of Insurance Entirely

Some insurance companies will flat-out refuse to offer you insurance at all if you have a DUI. At this point, you will have no choice but to look for another insurance provider. You may have to opt for one of those high-risk companies, but again, you will have to pay a lot of money every month to retain your coverage.

Increased Rates for Years

Your insurance will increase for a set amount of time depending on where you live. However, your insurance rates will be at this heightened state for at least three years. It could stay that way for up to seven years.

Criminal Background Check

Even though a DUI will not affect your insurance after a few years, it will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. This can affect your ability to get a job or qualify for housing. You may want to look into expunging the DUI from your record. You cannot do this immediately, so you should speak with a traffic ticket lawyer San Francisco about when you can expunge your record. You may need to wait a few years, but it is better to do it eventually than never.

There are numerous consequences to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It could potentially haunt you for the rest of your life, so it is never worth it to drive after consuming anything that could hamper your abilities to drive safely. Even if you only drank a little bit, you need to play it safe. The last thing you want to do is hire a traffic ticket attorney to help you avoid extreme fines and a trip to jail.

About the Author: Zack Walker

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