In most states, car insurance rates are likely to go up for at least 3 years if you are convicted of drunk-driving. You will also become familiar with SR-22.
Different states use different terms for drunk driving: driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated or operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If convicted of any such offense, your insurance rate is likely to go up before you can drive again.
If convicted of impaired driving in any US state, your driver privileges will be suspended for between 30 days and a year.
To get your license and privileges back, you'll need to complete an SR-22 form to prove you have liability insurance. The insurance company will notify the licensing agency if the policy is terminated for any reason.
Premiums could multiply
When you receive your SR-22 form, your car insurance company will automatically consider you to be a high-risk motorist and increase your premiums accordingly. If convicted, you can expect your premiums to double or triple although some companies specialize in high-risk policies.
Not All Companies Offer SR-22 Policies
Some insurers don't offer SR-22 policies. In such cases, if convicted of drunk-driving, your policy will be canceled or not renewed This cancellation on your claims history will count against you when you find another company that does offer SR-22. Because of this and your conviction, your rates are sure to be higher.
It's possible that your insurance company is prohibited from canceling your policy early even if convicted of drink-driving. This is subject to state law.
How long can you expect your rates be higher for?
In most states, a drunk-driving conviction will affect your insurance status for at least 3 years although it does vary. The length of time increases for multiple convictions.
Penalties can vary depending on the circumstances. If somebody was hurt as a result of your drunk-driving, a child was involved, your blood-alcohol level exceeded a certain amount or if you were under 21, your premium can be affected in certain states.
How can increased rates be avoided?
The only way to avoid increased auto insurance rates is to not restore your driver privileges. Some states will allow you to drive a moped without a license otherwise you are restricted to walking or public transport. If you don't own a vehicle but you do wish to restore your driving privileges, you must still buy a non-owner policy to provide a SR-22 form. This means buying insurance (even if it is cheap car insurance) for a car you don't own. It simply isn't worth drinking under the influence of alcohol. The law is designed to treat drink-driving convicts heavily and is fully supported by auto insurance companies.
We want you to know one little thing. The insurance companies are not only there for the money. We do care about each one of you and we want you to be protected. You pay us for services you don't need now but one day, if something occurs, we will be the only people you will expect the help from. Please always stay considerate and wise. We believe you won't let us down.