Drinking and driving is a serious issue faced by drivers today. Whether it’s due to impaired judgment or lack of understanding of the dangers that drinking and driving pose for you, your vehicle, and of course, other people on the road, DUI arrests have become increasingly commonplace in modern society.
Not only are there legal consequences associated with these types of charges, but there can be substantial financial losses as well. Your car insurance value could see a massive decline when engaging in this type of risky behavior – something that could cost you thousands in premiums over time.
Let’s take a moment to understand more about driving under the influence and the possible consequences to yourself and your insurance coverage.
Understanding Driving Under the Influence
Operating any vehicle under the influence of alcohol can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly. From bicycles to boats, DUI laws apply across a wide range of motorized options – not just cars.
In 2020, nearly 11,700 lives were tragically taken by impaired driving. This sobering statistic accounts for 30% of total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States. It also results in almost 1.5 million people being arrested each year for operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol – showing just how prevalent this dangerous behavior is.
What are the Consequences of Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Drunk driving is a serious offense with potentially far-reaching consequences. Individuals who decide to drink and drive are putting their lives and those of others in danger by compromising cognitive ability, responsiveness, and reaction time, leading to an increased likelihood of accidents on the road.
Depending on state laws, punishments can vary from heavy fines to jail sentences or suspended licenses; your professional reputation may even be at risk! So it pays off (literally) to consult The Governors Highway Safety Association for information about specific alcohol-impaired driving penalties per state before you get behind the wheel after drinking.
Some severe consequences include;
Most states suspend your license for varying lengths of time
Depending on what state you live in and how frequently you’ve been pulled over, receiving a DUI can trigger drastic consequences. Most states across the US suspend your driver’s license for varying lengths of time if it’s reported that you have driven under the influence. This can present various challenges for anyone who relies on their vehicle to get to work or run errands, as well as negatively impact car insurance rates.
Some states require mandatory jail time
In an effort to discourage such behavior, many states have chosen to impose mandatory jail sentences for those convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Depending on the state and circumstances surrounding the case, a person charged with DWI may be required to serve anywhere from a few days up to a year in jail.
You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car
Depending on the severity of the charge, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car. This type of device requires a DUI conviction holder to take and pass a breath test before the car starts. It also monitors further use of alcohol in the bloodstream while driving and can provide detailed data about the driver’s behavior.
In some states, a technician needs to service and calibrate it at specified times. Ignition interlock devices are important tools that protect public safety and help prevent impaired drivers from operating their vehicles again.
A single drunk driving conviction may lead to job loss or restrictions
A single conviction can cause the offender to lose their job or have restrictions placed on their license. These repercussions are especially tough for those relying on their driver’s licenses to get to work and make a living. An individual with limited resources may also find it particularly challenging and financially risky to handle the associated legal fees.
The best precaution against this situation is for everyone to remember that getting behind the wheel after having too much alcohol not only puts them at risk but also everyone else on the road.
How Does Driving Under the Influence Affect Your Auto Insurance?
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious offense that can have devastating consequences, including higher insurance rates.
Moreover, your auto insurance company will consider the offense when calculating your premium rate; this means that even if you don’t have any other violations or accidents on your record, your premium rate could still be higher than average due to a DUI conviction.
Insurance companies see drivers with DUIs as too great a risk to insure at standard rates, so they may either opt not to insure them in some cases or charge significantly higher premiums. It’s important to remember that although it can be difficult to get affordable car insurance after making this mistake, taking responsibility and enrolling in applicable programs can help reduce the negative impact on auto insurance rates.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Insurance?
A DUI on your record can have long-term consequences for your insurance coverage. Though each state has its laws surrounding DUIs, generally speaking, a DUI may show up on your insurance record for up to 10 years or more. The rate at which premiums increase is dependent upon your insurer’s standards and policies.
It’s important to take into consideration that not all insurance providers are the same, and some may ask if an applicant has a past DUI, even if the offense is deemed too old by law to be included on a driving record history report. Navigating insurance with a DUI charge is likely to be manageable, but it will always come with an increased cost compared to individuals who currently hold a clean driving record – and even after the charge passes its expiration date, the effects of being charged may remain in place.
If you are caught driving under the influence, you face several legal penalties. These can include fines, jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license. You will also see an increase in your car insurance rates. In some cases, your insurance company may even drop you as a customer. The best way to avoid these consequences is to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you value your car insurance rates, don’t drink and drive.