After a fun night on the town or when your just leaving a party and you have had a few to drink, it is always tempting to want to drive home. However, it is always recommended that you take a taxi or get a ride from your designated driver. This is not only for your own safety, but for the sake of the cost of your auto insurance premiums if you are caught. Why?
Car Insurance and Drinking and Driving
If you are caught drinking and driving, and are charged with a DUI, your life here on out will be a living hell in terms of getting affordable auto insurance. You see insurance companies see those with DUI charges as the worst kind of driver, even if the offense didn’t result in an accident, because they have the statistics to back them up that once a driver is caught with a DUI they are more likely to get into an accident and/or to get on another DUI charge -which only further raises the probability of a bigger accident.
As you can imagine, your insurance company is in the business to sell auto insurance to those who don’t need it – safe drivers. This type of insurance company provides car insurance for the standard car insurance market, which seeks to provide coverage to the good drivers. They do not want high risk drivers that will get into accident in which they have to go to court or pay out huge sums of money in liability coverage. So what are some of the things that your insurance company will do to you if you are convicted of “driving under the influence”?
Consequence of Drinking and Driving
If it is your first conviction most auto insurance companies will likely non-renew you when you go to renew your auto policy. This simply means that they are kicking you out to go find another insurance company, one that insures high risk drivers. Such drivers need to find what is called a “non-standard auto insurance” company in order to get insurance.
Non-standard companies provide insurance to high risk drivers such as those with DUIs, multiple at-fault accidents, and many convictions and suspensions. In return for insuring your vehicle, these insurance companies will apply what are called “surcharges” to your policy to make up for the amount of risk they are taking. If you have a DUI and it is your first offense you will likely get a 50% surcharge which means the cost of your insurance is increased by 50% of the pre-surcharge price. Surcharges vary from company to company, but usually if you get more than two serious convictions you can be totally denied coverage or have to pay surcharges in excess of 100% to 200%. So now you may be asking how long will this last?
Most auto insurance companies will hold a DUI or serious conviction against you for three years. Keep in mind this will likely be three years from the conviction date not from the offense day. If you are currently waiting for your rates to decrease the best thing to do is compare rates from non-standard insurers and find the lowest one. However, the cost is still going to be high so you are going to have to bite the bullet in the meantime. During this time you must do your best to avoid getting into an accident and receiving anymore tickets. If you can make it through this period then you can be well on your way to rebuilding your driving record and more importantly to getting lower rates.