Consequences of a DWI / DUI Conviction on your Car Insurance


If you`ve been arrested for DUI / DWI, you`re probably wondering how your legal troubles will affect your car insurance rates. Unfortunately, a drunk driving conviction can cause your auto insurance carrier to sharply increase your rates or even cancel your policy altogether.

Insurance companies calculate their rates using risk factors - the higher the risk of a claim, the more they charge. With car insurance, your driving record has an enormous impact on your auto insurance premiums. The number of tickets, accidents, and unfortunately, DUI / DWI arrests you have had will all be considered when your car insurance company is calculating how much to charge for your policy.

Items on your driving record are assigned a point value - typically one point for moving violations such as speeding tickets, and one point for accidents where you were at fault. These items typically stay on your driving record for three years. In contrast, a DUI / DWI conviction is assigned two points, and will remain on your driving record for 10 years. Actions associated with the DUI / DWI, such as a driver`s license suspension or a failure to appear charge, will also remain on your driving record for 10 years.

Many drivers arrested for DUI / DWI wonder if they`re obligated to report a drunk driving arrest to their insurance company immediately. You`re under no obligation to do so unless you are convicted in court or have your driver`s license suspended in a motor-vehicle department administrative action.

A DUI / DWI conviction can impact more than your car insurance rates the company that provides your homeowners` insurance can also increase your premiums after learning about a drunk driving conviction. Because of this, it`s imperative to consult with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about DUI / DWI convictions after any drunk driving arrest.

You will likely be required to file an SR-22, or formal certificate of insurance, after a DUI / DWI conviction or administrative license suspension. Unfortunately, because SR22 forms are required only after a drunk driving arrest, submitting one to your insurance company is like announcing your DUI / DWI arrest over a loudspeaker.

Unfortunately, a DUI / DWI conviction will continue to impact your car insurance rates for as long as 10 years. Other items on your driving record, such as speeding tickets, will have a shorter "washout" period, but a DUI / DWI conviction will remain and affect your premiums.

SR-22 Forms

If you`ve been convicted of DUI / DWI, you`ll be required to file an SR-22 form, or formal certificate of insurance. Because SR22 forms are only required after a drunk driving arrest, filing one with your insurance company is like sending up a red flag announcing your DUI / DWI.

Only a qualified insurance agent can issue an SR22 form - not your defense lawyer or anyone else. Typically, your insurance agent will prepare the form for your signature and then send it directly to your state`s Department of Motor Vehicles.

You`ll need an SR-22 form to obtain car insurance once your driver`s license is reinstated or in order to receive a restricted license after a DUI / DWI conviction. Many drivers convicted of DUI / DWI mistakenly believe that they cannot obtain insurance with a restricted license, but this is untrue. In fact, you`re required to file an SR22 in order to be eligible for a restricted license to drive to work.

An SR-22 form serves as proof of financial responsibility after a DUI / DWI conviction. You`ll typically be required to maintain your SR22 filing for three years after a drunk driving conviction. You won`t need to resubmit the form during the three-year period unless you allow your insurance coverage to lapse. If your insurance policy is cancelled or becomes inactive for any reason, your insurance company is required by law to notify the DMV, and unless you obtain new insurance and file a new SR-22 form, your driver`s license will be suspended.

A Myrtle Beach DUI conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it is important that you contact an experienced DUI attorney to protect your rights. Contact Myrtle Beach South Carolina DUI lawyers at Everett Law Firm at (800) 942-8048 for a free consultation if you have been arrested or charged with any type of drunk driving offense.


Everett Law Firm, P.A.

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