How a DUI Offense Can Affect Auto Insurance
Apart from the usual and commonly expected consequences of a DUI conviction, such as license suspension, court fines, mandatory educational programs, and lawyers’ fees, there are other significant consequences, of which many are unaware, including the strict constraints that such convictions place on obtaining and keeping automobile insurance. Since the primary determinant of a driver’s insurability is his or her driving record or history, individuals with DUI convictions can face significantly steeper insurance rates, and even, in some cases, the loss of insurance altogether, as a result of this type of conviction.
Several factors are considered in evaluating one’s driving record and “risk category.” These include the type of vehicle one drives; the geographic location of residence; length of time maintaining a valid license; number of traffic violations; citations for reckless driving; number of car accidents; and previous DUI convictions. A DUI conviction typically places an individual in the “higher risk” category, which exposes him or her to substantially higher insurance premiums, with rate increases, anywhere from 13% to 74%. Some insurance companies may, in some cases, even refuse coverage to drivers, who present high safety risks, such as those with DUI convictions.
After a DUI conviction, a policyholder in the state of Pennsylvania, will have to file SR-22 auto insurance forms. This certificate essentially serves as proof of minimum liability insurance coverage and shows that you can bear financial responsibility for any accidents the driver may be involved in. They must also be filed by uninsured drivers who were involved in an accident and did not pay for any damage or personal injury they caused; have unsatisfied judgments; or who have revoked licenses or who are under mandatory insurance supervision. Other examples of those who must file the SR-22 auto Insurance form are drivers with unsatisfied judgments, drivers with revoked licenses or who are under mandatory insurance supervision, and drivers with three or more mandatory insurance violation convictions.
Once the driver obtains this certificate, his or her insurance company will report it to the state insurance department. This is a legal requirement that must be satisfied in order to operate a motor vehicle. States have different guidelines for how long SR-22 coverage is required to be on one’s insurance before it can be removed.
If you are facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania, your freedom and future may be at risk if you do not act swiftly. Contact the criminal defense lawyers at Tanner Law Offices. Our team of skilled professionals is prepared to defend you through this challenging time and ensure your rights are fully protected. Please contact our office at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.