If the courts charge or convict you of a DUI, the headaches, don’t stop with the legal and financial repercussions. You will want to have an experienced DUI attorney to help you through your case. Even if you plan to plead guilty to the charges, a lawyer can help with your plea deal and can get you a reduction in your sentence. Rhode Island has strict DUI laws that will cost you thousands of dollars. However, this isn’t this only financial repercussion while dealing with a DUI. Your DUI will cause your car insurance to increase as well.

How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Car Insurance?

The length of time a DUI stays on your driving record varies from state to state. Many times, a DUI will affect your car insurance for 3-7 years. However,  a conviction will stay on your criminal record permanently. After your DUI falls off of your driving record your car insurance rates will return to normal. A DUI will raise your insurance premiums for a minimum of 3 years. You may also be able to have your record expunged after the DUI drops off your driving record. An expungement will seal the record of the DUI conviction.

How Much Will a DUI Cost You?

The total cost of a DUI can be up to $15,000 for your first offense. This number factors in the cost of a lawyer, fines, towing, increases in insurance premiums, and licensing fees. The increase in insurance premiums can account for as much as one-third of this number. Your premiums may not increase by $5,000 per year, but they are sure to go up and stay that way for years to come. A DUI is costly, and you are going to want to have a DUI attorney help you to avoid as many of the costs as possible.

DUI Car Insurance

There isn’t specific insurance for someone with a DUI. However, many states require you to file an SR-22 form with your DMV. An SR-22 form is “Proof of Financial Responsibility”. This form certifies that you have at least the state minimum car insurance coverage. While states require every driver to maintain the minimum amount of coverage, drivers with DUIs or driving on a suspended license convictions must prove that they do.

Car insurance companies don’t have DUI specific policies even though they often market such policies. These policies are for any at-risk driver. The premiums for these policies will be three to five times higher than a policy for a driver that has a clean driving record. It ‘s hard to quantify the exact increase in your insurance because all insurance companies use different formulas to determine a quote.

Your insurance company will find out about any driving infraction at your next policy renewal. If you have some safe driver discount, they will inevitably disappear, and your premium will increase. There are also companies that specialize in insuring high-risk drivers.

DUI Insurance FAQ

You may have some questions that have not yet been answered. We are going to address some of the frequently asked questions that we receive.

  • Will a DUI affect your parent’s insurance? It depends. If you are a named insured under your parent’s insurance policy than their premiums will increase. Also in Rhode Island, you could be made to install an ignition interlock device in your parent’s car. You may want to think extra long and hard before getting behind the wheel drunk in anyone’s car, but this is particularly the case in your parent’s car.
  • Will a DUI affect a car accident claim? Different insurance companies have different policies. Some insurance companies do not cover any claim in which you were negligent. Other insurance companies may cover claims no matter how the accident occurs. However, many insurance companies consider drinking and driving accidents as “intentional” accidents.
  • If someone else is driving your car and gets a DUI will your insurance increase? No. If someone else is driving your car, their insurance rates increase, not yours. Your insurance company should never even find out about such a situation. The only exception is if your friend is a named insured on your policy. However, even if a friend is on your policy, you may be able to drop them and convince your insurance company that they will never drive your car again. One snag in achieving this is if you both share the same address, though it still may be worth trying.

The Conclusion

You are going to wait to face any DUI charges head on. You can start during the traffic stop itself. Make sure you don’t give the police any help in building a case against you. Submitting to field sobriety tests and admitting to drinking can hurt your case. If you have been charged with a DUI, find a Rhode Island DUI attorney immediately.