A fun night out with friends can turn into a costly venture in more ways than one if you get pulled over and charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated).
A DUI or DWI are essentially the same thing—a criminal offense involving operating a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) above the state limit. How these terms are used—and the designated illegal BAC level—vary by state.
If you're convicted of a DUI or DWI, some of the ramifications can include the following, depending on your driving history and the severity of the offense:
And that’s just part of the story. The other part of the equation is how a DUI/DWI impacts your car insurance rate and coverage.
Your auto insurance is affected after a DUI/DWI. More often than not, drivers who are convicted of DUI/DWI are considered high-risk drivers or nonstandard drivers by their insurance company. Not all car insurance carriers offer nonstandard car insurance coverage. That means they might drop you immediately or at renewal time if you have a DUI/DWI conviction. And let’s be honest, you’re going to see your car insurance premiums go up with a DUI/DWI conviction.
After a DUI/DWI, your insurance company will often impose a surcharge, which can vary greatly from one carrier to another, and is added to your rates.
When a driver is convicted of a DUI/DWI, he or she is often required to file a certificate of financial responsibility (CFR). These CFRs are filed with the state in which the driver resides and serve as proof the driver carries the minimum required motor vehicle liability insurance. Most CFRs are in the form of SR22s. Florida and Virginia use FR44s. Learn more about SR22s and FR44s.
When you purchase auto insurance, or add to an existing policy, the insurance company provides this form and sends a copy to the respective state. Many states accept the filing electronically when the purchase is complete.
If you don’t own a car, and you need a certificate of financial responsibility (CFR), a non-owner insurance policy is an option.
Non-owner car insurance protects you in the event you’re determined to be at fault in an accident while driving a vehicle not owned by you, such as a rental car. If you cause an accident while borrowing or renting a vehicle, a non-owner policy covers damages to other people's vehicles and property.
Learn more about non-owner insurance.
There’s a lot more on the subject of DUIs/DWIs, including how you can get you license back after such an infraction. Let us help you understand the impacts of a DUI/DWI on your car insurance.
At Dairyland, we feel strongly about your safety, and we promote that through our Defensive Driving Discount. Check out what you might be able to save today.
Also, make sure you have the coverages you need on the road.
This document is made available by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively "SIAMCO") with the understanding that SIAMCO is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality. No one should act on the information contained in this document without legal advice from competent and licensed local professionals.