When the police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, the trouble is only beginning. Facing charges brings stress and anxiety to your life, while taking away time and money dealing with the criminal justice system. A conviction comes with multiple penalties in and out of the courtroom, including high fines, possible jail time (and thus lost wages or even employment), court fees and family drama.
Another area of your life at risk is how much you pay for auto insurance. It is an easy thing to overlook and may seem insignificant, but the money quickly adds up.
Insurance rates in Illinois
ValuePenguin compiled a list of insurance premium increases following a DUI. The state with the highest spike was North Carolina at 4.09 times greater, while the lowest was Colorado at 1.17 times more. Illinois fell in ninth place with a 2.05 increase. This means that the cost of insurance will likely double for you.
Shopping for insurance
Your current provider may continue to insure you but hike up the price of coverage, as getting a DUI makes you a bigger liability risk. On the other hand, your insurer may drop you altogether, and you will have to find a new company that will cover you. It is not impossible, but your options may be fewer.
On the bright side, some insurers offer forgiveness if it is your first DUI and there were no aggravating factors, such as having a BAC above 0.15%. After a few years, the DUI conviction should no longer affect your insurance. However, the more DUIs you receive, the worse the consequences will be.
The best measure to take against these penalties is preventive. While it may be too late not to drink and drive, it is not too late to secure a strong legal defense to ensure a DUI conviction does not land on your criminal record and driving history.