Aside from the physical and emotional cost of a DUI or DWI, driving under the influence could wind up costing you up to $20,000 in legal fees and fines, and the additional cost to your insurance could skyrocket, depending on your driving history.
Auto insurance premiums are calculated based on what your insurer calculates your individual risk to be, and a DUI is among the costliest factors that could determine your risk.
According to CoverHound, in the first year after getting a DUI, your car insurance premium could go up as high as 94.13%. After the second and third year, granted no additional moving violations, premiums could lower slightly, but it will still cost you. On the third year after a DUI, the average premium rings in at a 63.74% increase.
The real cost of a DUI
Driving under the influence is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous decisions a person could make, threatening the wellbeing of not only the driver, but every other driver and passenger on the road. It is a violation so serious, some insurance companies might not even raise your rates — they’ll just cancel your policy altogether.
This becomes the worst-case scenario for your wallet. If you are forced to shop for a new policy, you will not only have a DUI on your record driving up your rates, but also a policy cancellation that will cost you even more as your risk multiplies.
A DUI will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life, but eventually, it will be cleared from your DMV record, which is the good news for your wallet. Insurance companies only see what’s on your DMV record, so after a DUI has cleared, your rates will eventually go down. How long this takes, however, varies by state.
In most states, a DUI or DWI will stay on your DMV record for at least 5-10 years, but some states are significantly stronger on this. In New Mexico, for example, a DUI stays on your record for 55 years — so potentially the rest of your life. The best way to calculate the cost of your DUI is to talk to your agent or broker, and when your rate undoubtedly increases, shop around as you may be able to find a cheaper option.
Suzanne Brown Insurance Agency
A Texas Independent Insurance Agency with over 100 insurance carriers