Drunk Driving & Car Insurance
Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer
Research suggests that an average drunk driving conviction can easily cost $10,000. This total includes fees, fines, bail, insurance, and other factors. After a DUI conviction, your insurance provider may label you as a "high risk" driver and increase the cost of you auto insurance. Driving under the influence is risky and a DUI conviction will cause insurance companies to perceive you as dangerous driver. In the end, there is a significant probability that the cost of your insurance coverage will increase. That's why you need a high-quality DUI defense lawyer on your side; to avoid a DUI and the exorbitant costs associated with a conviction.
DUI Convictions & "Good Driver Discounts"
As of 2007, California Law requires a DUI to appear on your driving record for ten years, beginning on the date that you were convicted. This means that the conviction will appear on all public/out-of-house printouts of your driving record for one decade. In 2007, California legislature also enacted a law that gave insurance companies permission to access applicants' driving records to determine whether or not a particular driver was eligible for a "good driver discount." Thus, a DUI arrest that took place as long as nine years ago could affect your ability to obtain car insurance for a reasonable rate.
A DUI conviction will be removed from your driving record automatically after ten years. If you currently receive a good driver discount, your insurance provider may discontinue the price reduction. In addition to traditional DUI convictions, you driving record may reflect "wet" reckless driving and other traffic offenses for seven years after a conviction. These infractions can affect the amount of your car insurance as well.
If you are convicted of DUI or applicable traffic offense, your insurance company may remove the discount from your current policy, offer you a new policy without the price reduction, or cancel your service.
Will my provider cancel my car insurance policy?
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without car insurance. However, you insurance provider may decide to cancel your insurance coverage if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If your provider cancels your policy, you will need to find a new care insurance provider. Speak with your insurance company before obtaining new coverage, though; you may be able to obtain coverage through the same company but without the good driver discount.
After a DUI conviction, your insurance company will submit any relevant changes in your insurance policy to the DMV. After the DMV learns that your policy is no longer active, you will receive a notification from the department, explaining that you have 45 days to obtain new insurance coverage. If the DMV does not receive notification of a new policy within 45 days, it will suspend your vehicle registration. Once you sign up for a new policy, your insurance provider must submit a California Insurance Proof Certificate (SR 22) to keep the DMV from suspending your vehicle registration.
How much will I pay for car insurance after a DUI?
Multiple factors will determine the cost of your auto insurance after a DUI conviction. In some instances, the cost of your insurance could increase by 300%. One thing is certain: you will not be eligible to receive a good driver discount. Combined with an adjusted insurance policy, you could easily spend $300 to $800 more every year on car insurance. If your insurance company labels you a "high risk" driver, you may only be eligible to obtain a high risk driver insurance policy. If you previously received a good driver discount, the cost of your car insurance could increase by an additional 20% - 30%.