I recently talked with an old friend of mine who had a run in with the law. Because I used to sell insurance he like everyone else asked me how much it would raise his rates. He told me that he went to a holiday party and had a few drinks then drove home. On the way home he was pulled over for speeding and the police officer asked him if he had been drinking. His first thought was to say no but he didn’t know what he should do so he said he only had two drinks.
Well he ended up getting a ticket for driving under the influence and now is trying to figure out what his mistake will cost him.
It can happen to anyone
If this story sounds familiar it is a very common occurrence especially around the holidays. People go to parties to say hi and have a drink or two, then drive home. It can happen to anyone including the chairman of Coors brewing who was issued a drunken driving ticket in 2006. Now the question becomes how much it will cost me. The bad news is that your insurance will increase but the good news is it doesn’t have to break the bank.
In most states you will be required to file an SR22 form with the state the violation occurred in. This state will require you carry minimum liability limits for the duration of the mandate. An SR22 form is nothing more than an addition to your auto insurance which shows financial responsibility to the state.
If the policy is cancelled the state will be notified. It is a small fee to add this form to your policy but the big change is when your insurance company rates you for having a DUI on your license. There are ways to keep your rates lower.
Only carry liability coverage on the vehicle
If you only carry liability coverage you can save hundreds of dollars per year until your SR22 is no longer required. You may have a car which is financed and the bank requires full coverage, so sell that car and get one you don’t have to carry comprehensive or collision coverage on. I know you want that nice new car but you made a mistake and that may be the price you pay.
Get non-owner auto insurance if you don’t own a vehicle.
Non owner auto insurance is available if you don’t own a specific vehicle but still drive and need insurance. This is just a liability only policy which will cover you in any vehicle you drive. You can also add the SR22 filing to this policy so your state requirements are met.
3 Reasons To Not Drink And Drive
Hopefully you don't need any reason not to drink and drive but if you do we give you 3 compelling reasons. The majority of drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence make a mistake thinking they are able to drive even after having multiple alcoholic drinks. This one mistake can cost you thousands or dollars and haunt you for years to come. Here are 3 reasons why you should not drink and drive:
#1 - Life and Death
Alcohol related accidents while driving are the number one killer in the United States for motor vehicle related deaths. It is a fact that a driver with even one drink will have a slower reaction time and judgment when driving. When you couple that with highway speeds it is easy to understand how an accident can occur when someone has only had a few drinks. Be safe and always have a designated driver or call a cab if you have had anything to drink.
#2 - Costly Mistake
If you are convicted of drinking and driving it will likely cost you thousands of dollars over a three to five year period. The court costs and related fines will cost most first time DUI offenders any where from $500 to $3000. Depending on the severity of the offense and if any accident was involved that cost could increase substantially.
Also your auto insurance will increase due to the DUI and you will need to file an SR22 insurance form. An SR22 or FR44 filing will affect your premiums for up to five years depending on the state and insurance company. Expect your auto insurance premium to increase by 100% if you are convicted of DUI.
#3 - Poor Future Outlook
In addition to the financial cost of fines and court costs your future is not going to be as bright. Many employers do not hire individuals with DUI convictions and if your current job involves driving you may lose your job. This can have a dramatic effect on your financial future and can be hard to overcome.
Our point of this article is to make it clear that drinking and driving is never a good idea no matter how many drinks you have had. Make the right choices or face the potential costs of a DUI conviction. If you need to file SR22 insurance use our free service to find the cheapest auto insurance providers in your area.