The moment you are pulled over for a DUI, lots of things go through your mind. You wonder what the legal repercussions will be. You worry about losing your license, about the validity of your alcohol levels, and what time and effort it will take to deal with the ticket, whether or not you believe you are guilty. What many don’t ask themselves is, “How will a DUI affect my auto insurance?” It’s an important question that I’m able to give some clarity to.
Possible Insurance DUI Penalties
Along with dealing legally with a court order and keeping or reinstating your driver’s license, you may have some hoops to jump through to be able to maintain auto insurance coverage. Here are some of the insurance coverage repercussions.
- Rate Increases – The first obvious way a DUI can impact your auto insurance is by raising your premiums. Your premiums, depending on your pre-DUI coverage cost, could conceivably double, even rise by as much as 200 percent.
- Policy cancellation – In the state of Nevada, insurance is required of all drivers, so you should be concerned about your company cancelling your coverage altogether.
- Form SR-22 – Getting a DUI means having to file an SR-22 form every year with the state of Nevada for three years. These forms provide proof of your coverage. This coverage must include a minimum of $15,000 bodily injury or death of one person, $30,000 for bodily injury or death for more than one person, and minimum of $10,000 for property damages.
In order to understand what you can do about your insurance coverage penalties, you need to understand what you might deal with from a legal perspective first. This will impact actions you take, not only regarding your auto insurance, but how aggressively you need to address your possible conviction. Here are the possibilities:
- Possible jail time – 2 days to 6 months.
- Mandatory DUI School – The cost of these programs varies.
- Victim Impact Panel – ($50)
- The Coroner’s Program – In some courts
- Loss of License – A first DUI conviction in the state of Nevada means a mandatory 90-day license suspension.
- Fines – $400 – $1000 plus $300-400 in court costs and assessments added on. Penalties go up dramatically on a second and third.
How I Might Be Able to Help
Regardless of how it affects your insurance, getting a DUI will disrupt your life for a while, especially if you’ve had more than one. If you weren’t able to prevent getting the DUI, the next best thing is to call me as soon as the incident occurs, so we can go over your options in dealing with it. I will also look at insurance options with you, regardless of how the DUI is resolved.
- Prevent the Conviction – The best defense against insurance penalties is to prevent the conviction in the first place. There are many cases where, due to improper or hurried practices of the arresting officer, the collected data used to secure a DUI conviction are corrupted. I will review and challenge the validity of evidence against you.
- Pursue a Plea – At times it might be advantageous to pursue a plea, thus reducing the charge and penalty. Accepting a charge such as reckless driving might be the best way to prevent a DUI conviction, which might also mitigate your insurance penalties.
- Reduce or Prevent Suspension – In some circumstances, I might be able to work with the courts regarding your license suspension, but there is a short window of time to request a hearing, so contacting me ASAP is critical. Insurance is a moot point if you aren’t allowed to drive.
- Seal Your DUI Records – In Nevada, after seven years, a DUI conviction can be hidden from a public criminal record, however, your attorney must know what they are doing to make it happen.
- High-Risk Insurance Pool – Those convicted of DUI may have a tough time finding auto coverage. I can help you navigate the process of getting insurance through the Nevada high-risk pool.
In the end, a DUI is a very serious charge with long-lasting consequences. It’s critical that you consult with a knowledgeable DUI attorney to get the best results possible. Darren Weiss will give personal service and care to every one of his individual clients. Contact him right away at (702) 899-8989 or email with your DUI concerns.