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Just once you decided to drive home even though you had imbibed a little heavily of alcohol before leaving the bar or restaurant. On the outskirts of town, a patrol officer and his or her partner are watching for drivers who are slightly impaired.
You zipped straight through a red light and were nabbed not only for the infraction of ignoring a stop sign, but also for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol.
Duly you appear in court, are convicted because the blood alcohol analysis (BAC) indicated your level of alcohol was over 0.08.
Your driver’s license is subsequently revoked and, in order to get it reinstated, you must wait a mandatory nine months in many states. An SR-22, proof of insurance, must be filed with your reinstatement request.
Depending upon the orders of the court, you must keep this SR-22 filing current and insurance paid for a certain period.
It is important to get your drivers license reinstated after revocation. If you drive without a driver’s license, you can be charged with Driving Under Revocation, a separate crime that could lead to time in jail.
Note that you can be arrested for Driving Under Revocation even though the time set for revocation has expired -just because you have not formally reinstated your license.
Always compare quotes using a FREE search tool, such as the one at the top of this page!
Facts about Insurance Premiums and DUI Convictions
Insurance companies charge higher premiums for those drivers they consider to be at risk for catastrophic accidents. Individuals with a DUI conviction are usually those who have committed the DUI infraction before and, perhaps, not caught or allowed to plead out the infraction.
Most insurance companies, if they will even provide insurance for someone with a DUI, raise premiums by at least 87% over previous rates.
Many companies will not even agree to sell insurance for these individuals because of the risk.
This situation will last as long as the DUI is on your driving record – three to five years, depending upon your state.
Be aware that the SR-22 filing must be maintained even if you move to another state because states share information about DUI convictions and SR-22 filings.
Getting Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for Drivers with a DUI
As with most car insurance, getting quotations from at least three companies will help you judge prices and save money on your insurance. Since ‘standard’ insurance companies are reluctant to provide insurance for drivers with a history of violations or DUIs, you may be looking for insurance anyway.
Search for “high-risk insurance companies” in your web browser and a list of insurance companies should appear that sell this type of insurance.
Be Cautious When Choosing Insurance Companies
Individuals who have had DUIs or another accumulation of points on their driver’s licenses are often targets for unscrupulous ‘companies’ and ‘agencies’ without valid licenses or the ability to legally write insurance.
Choose at least three of these companies listed – more if you cannot find a satisfactory company – and look first at their financial information, licensing, and complaint structure. There are ways of doing this research. Try the following locations:
- Your state insurance department – found on the state government website. A listing of licensed companies and agencies is available from them.
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) a source of financial information and complaint information about insurance companies
- A.M. Best Ratings – a nation-wide resource for financial information on insurance companies.
- Standard and Poor’s Ratings – another nation-wide ratings company
Insurance Coverage Desirable for your Quotes
Usually the court will state the limits of liability needed to purchase to comply with the requirement for the SR-22 filing. You will need to purchase the following types of liability coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability – which pays for legal liability for accidents harming others caused by you and your household. This coverage is usually written with one limit per person for each accident; with another cumulative limit for all individuals per accident. An example of this might be: $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability – which pays for legal liability for property damage caused by you or a member of your household in an accident. This may be expressed as $50,000 in the requirements.
Coverage that May be Required by the State
- Medical payments coverage – pays for emergency medical procedures and transportation after an accident-often expressed as $10,000
- Uninsured Motorists coverage – stated usually in the same terms as bodily injury liability – protects you and your family against accidental injury caused by someone without insurance.
Coverage that May be Required by the Lien-holder on Your Automobile
Even though physical damage coverage on the vehicle you own is not covered under liability or required by the SR-22, the entity that loaned you money to purchase your vehicle will need to have coverage for their interest in your automobile.
- Comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage to your car such as fire, theft, vandalism, storm, animal damage, and glass breakage.
- Collision coverage, which pays for the damage to your car because of colliding with another car or a fixed object.
The lien-holder will recommend a deductible to be applied to your vehicle. Deductibles are the amount you pay on a claim before the insurance company issues its check.
Assemble the quotations you receive, sorting them by coverage, premium, and company so you can observe the differences in charges.
Insurance companies will provide quotes broken down for you in this way.
Assemble the insurance companies financial information by rating and complaint information.
Choose the cheapest insurance premiums, match them with the best insurance company ratings, and the best complaint ratios, and use this information to determine your purchase.
The insurance company will process the required SR-22 filing for you with both the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles. A fee, usually about #30.00 will apply to this service.
The insurance company guarantees notification of the court and DMV if the insurance is canceled for any reason.
It is likely that you will have to maintain an SR-22 filing for three to five years, so you will be responsible for maintaining this insurance that long. As stated before, if you move from the state, information about the SR-22 filing and requirements will follow you, necessitating the acquisition of this type of coverage in your new state.
DUIs and Driving
In the end, the costs of drinking and driving are considerably more than those of staying at a friend’s home, renting a motel room, or even sleeping on a sofa to prevent yourself from driving.
Be sure to compare car insurance quotes using our FREE tool below. Simply enter your ZIP code into the search field.