Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of illegal substances can change your life completely, and it can impact the lives of others as well–especially if the intoxication resulted in a catastrophic car accident. When arrested for DUI, it’s important to take stock of your rights by hiring an experienced DUI attorney. Even so, a lawyer can’t help you with everything you’ll be going through as a result of the charges. Your car insurance is likely to go up after a DUI, but how much?
The rate at which a DUI might affect your car insurance premiums depends on a number of factors, some outside of your control. In Florida, your premiums will balloon an average of up to two times the usual rate. If you live in other regions, the rates will be affected differently. Two times is also represented by 100 percent, which is more than the national average of just over 86 percent. By comparison, you’d spend much more living in North Carolina, where your rates would go up an average of about 309 percent. Likewise, in Colorado they would only go up about 18 percent.
When you start driving, you’re legally obligated to find a car insurance policy that covers a certain amount of liability for costs that result from accidents or some other situations. This threshold for liability depends on where you live. If you have been convicted of a DUI, then you’ll need to file a form SR-22 with your local DMV to prove that you have met this threshold and fulfilled your legal obligation.
Your insurance rate going up isn’t the only thing that’ll cost you money. Bail can cost up to $2,000. You may have to pay for the towing of your vehicle, which will set you back another $1,000 on the high end. Court fines and lawyer fees can cost up to $3,500. In addition, a conviction means you’ll have to pay for alcohol education and possibly treatment, fees for your license, and an ignition lock for your vehicle. The total for all three will run up to another $1,500.
When you add these prices to the already staggering insurance rate hike, a DUI is something that could break the bank for a lot of people. If you’re young and not making that much money, then that’s too bad–and by coincidence, that’s the exact demographic most likely to get hit with a DUI. At the end of the day, you’ll be lucky if your insurance company doesn’t drop you from the plan. Be careful, and drive safe–and sober!