A DUI conviction carries with it the potential for very harsh penalties including jail time, fines, and a lengthy suspension of your driver’s license. However, one of the other unfortunate effects of a DUI conviction has to do with adverse impacts on car insurance availability and premiums. Getting and maintaining car insurance after a DUI can be challenging, which is another reason to ensure that you have an experienced Pittsburgh DUI lawyer advocating for your rights if you’ve been charged with DUI.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys at (412) 281-2146 to start building your defense right away.
Risk, Insurance Premiums, and DUIs
Risk is a basic concept of insurance that drives the cost of premiums. The amount a person pays for insurance depends on their level of risk. Insurance companies evaluate risk based on the probability that they may have to pay money because the insured person causes injuries and property damage. Car insurance companies take a number of factors into consideration in assigning risk to an insured driver, including age, geographic location, type of vehicle driven, and the driving record of the person. A DUI conviction greatly affects how these factors are viewed by an insurer.
Drivers who are convicted of a DUI are likely to be assessed as high risks and receive significant increases in their car insurance premiums. Insurance companies view DUI offenders as drivers who are already prone to dangerous driving behaviors. They may use it as a predictor of future driving risk and issues.
Additionally, the geographic location of the driver may also get scrutiny based on a DUI conviction. If the insurance company sees that the offender lives in a densely-populated, urban neighborhood or in an area with a greater number of high-speed highways, it may see the driver as a greater risk for vehicle accidents in the future.
The driver’s existing record will also get additional scrutiny after a DUI conviction. A first DUI offense will likely result in a large increase in insurance premiums, and the amount of the increase will also be affected by prior traffic offenses. However, if the DUI is a second or subsequent offense, there is a high likelihood that you will lose coverage completely. Insurance companies will also take into consideration the length of time that has passed since the DUI conviction in determining insurance rates in the future, or whether to provide insurance at all.
How a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Can Help
If you are charged with a DUI, you likely face a significant increase in insurance premiums if convicted. You may even face losing your insurance completely. To avoid this collateral consequence, you may want to fight a DUI charge or negotiate a plea agreement that will have less of an impact on your driving record.
You should talk to a Pittsburgh DUI lawyer immediately if you’ve been charged with DUI. The consequences of failing to mount an effective defense can be wide-reaching, and a conviction will impact your life for years. You need an experienced lawyer to help you make informed decisions regarding your defense.
Contact us at (412) 281-2146 for a free initial consultation today.