When you ask someone what the consequences of a DUI are, most people think of the possibility of jail time and a suspended license. They may consider their car insurance may go up, but no doubt they don't realize how much it will cost in the end. Even though a DUI conviction will forever remain on your criminal record, it may be the insurance increase which leads to the greatest cost in terms of money. Believe it or not, a DUI could mean you're paying as much as $10,000 extra, just in car insurance premiums.
How Will a Georgia DUI Affect My Car Insurance?
Even if it was just a one-time mistake, the State of Georgia will consider you to be riskier driver after a DUI. Your license will be suspended, for 6 months or more, and you'll find that when you want to get your license reinstated, you'll have to get an SR-22 filing before you can drive again.
An SR-22 isn't a kind of insurance, it's just a form that your car insurance company sends to the state. It shows the state that you have the required minimum insurance coverage, $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 for per person bodily injuries, total bodily injury, and property damage. You will have to maintain SR-22 filing status for three years after a DUI. If you fail to pay your premiums, or lose your insurance, the DDS will be notified, and your license will be suspended until a new SR-22 is filed.
While the filing may only cost $20 or $30 for the filing, but that doesn't take into account the increased premiums you will see after a DUI goes on your driving record. Last year, a website survey found Atlanta to be one of the most expensive cities for car insurance, with the rate for their hypothetical young driver costing over $2,200 per year. After a DUI, insurance companies will raise the driver's premiums as much 100%, and maintain higher premiums for 5 years or more. That could add up to nearly $8,000 just in extra insurance costs.
If you think increased insurance premiums is bad enough, in some cases, your insurance company may simply stop insuring you. Especially common for young drivers, and under-21 DUIs, insurance companies may see some drivers as simply not worth the risk, and drop their coverage, or fail to renew their policy. If you lose coverage, the insurance company will send DDS an SR-26, and your license will be suspended until a new SR-22 is filed.
Make sure you don't drive uninsured or while on a suspended license. If you are pulled over and the police find you have a suspended license, you may be violating the terms of your probation. In addition to the penalties associated with driving on a suspended license, you may have to serve additional jail time for violating probation.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer
After an arrest for a DUI, consider all the penalties that come with a DUI conviction. You'll lose your license if you don't request an ALS hearing within 30 days. You'll face fines and jail time, and you may end up spending thousands just in insurance costs. Contact an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney, who will fight to keep the charges off your record, so you can keep your license, and keep your insurance rates affordable. Contact Lawson and Berry today, so we can keep a DUI off your record.