How a DWI Conviction Can Affect Your Car Insurance Rates
If you are convicted of a DWI offense, you may struggle to find affordable car insurance, and your current insurance premiums will likely increase. How much your rates increase is dependent on your insurer and their policies. According to The Zebra, a DWI conviction can increase your annual auto insurance premium by an average of $762 or about 54%.
How Long Does a DUI Conviction Affect Your Insurance?
A DWI conviction will stay on your driving record forever; however, a conviction can affect your insurance rates for up to 10 years. In some cases, your rates can continue to be affected; you should review the terms of your insurance policy. You should review their lookback polic to see how far they look back on your record to calculate insurance rates.
Do You Need to Tell Your Insurer About a DWI?
You do not need to tell your insurer that you have been charged with a DWI, but if you are convicted, your driving history will show that you have a DWI offense conviction. It’s best that you inform them of a conviction yourself because when you try to renew or get a new policy, they will discover the conviction anyway.
Other Ways a DWI Conviction Can Cost You
A DWI conviction can also have other financial consequences. You may have to pay for the following services and items.
- Bail bond. To be released from jail, you must pay a bond, and the bond amount will be set by a judge. The bond amount can range from $500-$10,000, and the amount can vary based on the jurisdiction, case circumstances, and the number of previous convictions you have.
- Towing and impound. After an arrest, your car will be towed and impounded. You will be charged about $20 per day for the impound and a flat fee of $25-450 for towing.
- Alcohol monitoring systems. In some cases, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your steering wheel or submit to alcohol monitoring (using a SCRAM device). These systems can cost up to $250 per month.
- Occupational license fees. If your license is suspended or revoked, you can apply for an occupational or essential need license that allows you to drive a non-commercial vehicle to and from work or school-related activities. An occupational license has a $10/year renewal and issuance fee. To qualify for an occupational license, you also must submit an SR-22 form, which requires a $100 reinstatement fee.
- Court costs. After processing your case, the court will charge you for costs incurred for a guilty plea or verdict. These costs can range from $300-$400.
- Victim impact panel. In some cases, a requirement of probation is attending a victim impact panel, which allows families and survivors to share their experience with drunk driving accidents. These courses cost $30-$50 on average.
- Probation fees. If you are granted probation, you can be ordered to pay a monthly supervision fee of $60 per month.
- Alcohol Education Program. In some cases, you may have to complete a 12-hour DWI Education course, and the class can cost up to $125.
- Hefty fines. For first-time offenses, you can face a fine of up to $2,000. Second-time offenses carry fines of up to $4,000, and third-time offenses carry a $10,000 fine.
Get Legal Help Today
Attorney Peter Barrett has been practicing law for over 25 years, and he has helped numerous clients achieve the best possible results in their cases. If you retain his services, he can work with you to get the case dismissed or lessen the potential penalties. While each case is unique, possible defense strategies against DWI charges include:
- Challenging blood tests, breathalyzer results, or field sobriety tests
- Working to suppress evidence
- Challenging the testimony of witnesses
- Proving your constitutional rights were broken during the search or stop
- Employing an affirmative defense (i.e. acting in duress, insanity, etc.)
Consulting with a reliable attorney can be the difference between harsh penalties and a case dismissal (or the mitigation of your charges). If you have been charged with a DWI, you should retain the services of Attorney Barrett. Call (214) 307-8667 or reach out online today to schedule your case consultation.