Insurance Consequences of DUI
If you've been arrested for drunk driving, you may be concerned about the insurance consequences of a DUI. Simply getting pulled over and arrested for a DUI will not impact your insurance. However, a DUI conviction is included in your driving record and can affect your insurance premiums. It is wise to consult a skilled Phoenix DUI attorney who may be able to offer a strong defense strategy to avoid a conviction. James Novak is a former prosecutor who uses what he knows about how prosecutors think to provide a substantial and aggressive defense to clients charged with DUIs.Insurance Consequences of DUI
If you are convicted of a DUI in Phoenix or surrounding areas in Arizona, there will be insurance consequences. In most cases, DUIs result in a higher increase than other types of driving violations including accidents and reckless driving. The insurance premium increases for DUIs are more severe in Arizona than they are in some other states. As a first offender, you can face jail for up to 10 days, pay $1250 in fines, go through counseling, and perform community service. There may be a 90-day suspension of your license or a revocation for up to a year. You may be required to install and use an ignition interlock device on any car you drive.
On top of these other court-mandated penalties, insurance premium rates are usually raised for at least three years after a DUI conviction. The insurer will weigh multiple factors to determine how much to raise your premiums after a conviction. These factors can include your age, gender, marital status, and other factors believed to affect how safe of a driver you are. Generally, you will no longer be able to get a good driver discount. If you have a clean record other than the DUI conviction, you may experience less of an increase in premiums than somebody with multiple convictions. Usually, a first offense DUI with a clean driving record is likely to result in an insurer showing leniency. Similarly, if you voluntarily participate in a defensive driving course separate from the mandatory program ordered by the court as part of your DUI sentence, this may reduce the chances of increased insurance premiums. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can help you determine the best strategy for you to pursue in this context.
When you are convicted of a DUI, either your existing insurer or a new insurance company can charge you more in premiums on the basis of the conviction for three years, even after your license is reinstated. Often the increase in insurance premiums is on the order of $300-$800 more after a DUI conviction.Proof of Future Financial Responsibility
DUI convictions are expensive, and there is a suspension period for your license. Additionally, in order to have your driver's license reinstated after a DUI conviction, you'll need to get SR-22 insurance first and then keep that insurance for three years. Any car insurance company that is licensed in Arizona will have SR-22 insurance, which is used to verify that you're maintaining the minimum insurance liability required under the law on your vehicle. If you don't get the certificate, your license will be suspended again. The SR-22 certificate is a kind of liability coverage to show you have financial responsibility before the license can be reinstated and filed through your insurance company. After the certificate is issued, it will be forwarded and processed.Consult a DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix
If you are charged with a DUI, you should take the charges seriously, and if you're convicted, you should comply with whatever your sentencing mandates. It is advisable to retain a lawyer who will skillfully fight the charges, and who understands the insurance consequences of a DUI. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who provides a tough, aggressive defense to those charged with DUIs throughout the Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.