Every day, over 3,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Accidents caused by impaired drivers make up around 15% of weekday car accidents and 31% of weekend car accidents. Being caught in this kind of accident can be dangerous and have serious legal consequences for the drunk driver.
If you were the one who drove under the influence of a substance, you do have options to get back on the road. With good behavior and compliance with court orders, you can get back to a relatively normal driving routine with a restricted license and SR-22 vehicle insurance.
DUI insurance plays a vital role in getting drivers with less-than-perfect records back to their usual driving routine. By covering vehicles for high-risk drivers, an FR-44 or SR-22 addendum serves as a vital tool for many drivers who find themselves in this situation.
Driving under the influence has strict consequences, even for a first-time offender. If you’re caught, a DUI can include hefty fines and a suspended license, while repeat offenses can merit jail time, higher fines, and extended license suspension periods.
If you have a chance to get an SR-22/FR-44 certificate to qualify for high-risk, non-standard insurance, take it. This is an opportunity to get back on the road and maintain your former lifestyle of freedom.
Though the costs of this type of insurance are higher than standard insurance, it will help you maintain your lifestyle. So how much does a DUI raise your car insurance premium? We’ll answer this question and more.
The Short Answer
Long story short: A DUI will noticeably raise your insurance premium. However, how much it goes up depends on many factors. Your age, marital status, driving experience, history of traffic violations, criminal history, location, and vehicle type all influence the cost.
Generally, the premium for non-standard SR-22 insurance costs between 28% to 371% higher than a standard auto insurance plan. The average percent increase is around 80%, but this is usually for a first offense.
The average premium for DUI insurance is around $2,760 a year, about $230 per month. Compared to the average cost of standard car insurance ($1592 a year), this is a yearly increase of over $1,000. In some cases, the price can be higher — especially if this is a repeat offense.
There is usually an option to make monthly payments or to pay the total yearly cost upfront. Normally, the cost is lower if you pay the full fee upfront. There may also be discounts for taking defensive driver courses.
While this is a significant increase from standard auto insurance rates, the value of driving can’t be quantified. Being able to travel freely offers individuals with a DUI regular and reliable transportation.
This privilege helps people get to work on time, fulfill their responsibilities, and prove that they can have a safe driving record. Driving safely while using non-standard insurance can help you in all areas of life, including your upcoming court date. By proving you can be a safe and responsible driver, your actions will pave the path to a bright future.
How to Get Insurance With a DUI
If you get caught driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher, you will be charged with a DUI and get fined, go to court, and perhaps get jail time for even a first offense. Each state has its own DUI/DWI laws, but you will most likely get your license suspended and be issued a temporary license so you can go to court.
While you hold this temporary license, you must contact the DMV within 10 days, or else it will be revoked without notice. If you miss this window, you’ll lose your license for at least four months.
When you arrive at court, you can petition for a restricted license. If granted, this hardship license allows you to drive to essential places like work, school, childcare, or access medical needs. This restricted license is necessary to have for you to drive legally in most states. It is also your only way to insure your vehicles without standard insurance.
Depending on if the offense was the first or a repeat, the judge will order a variety of consequences like community service, jail time, fines, and a suspended license. You may also be required by the court to install an ignition interlock device on all the vehicles you operate. This device should be installed between 14-30 days of your offense.
To get your vehicle insured with a restricted license, you’ll need an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate, which involves higher insurance rates and SR-22 insurance. This, in compliance with all the other court-ordered mandates, is your key to a reinstated license.
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What Exactly Is an SR-22 or FR-44?
An SR-22 or FR-44 is basically an addendum to your insurance policy. Most states require an SR-22 for a DUI, while Virginia and Florida use an FR-44 for DUIs and SR-22 for other traffic offenses. An agent who works in a specialized high-risk insurance division can help you file this document to obtain insurance.
These documents make it possible to insure drivers who hold a restricted license due to a DUI. This document labels you as a “high risk” driver and makes you ineligible to use standard auto insurance for a set period. You may also hear it called an SR-22 bond, SR-22 form, or certificate of financial responsibility.
The cost of an SR-22 insurance plan can vary depending on your insurance provider. Overall, prices can range between $200 to $800 a month. The costs go up more if your record has more offenses on it, which labels you as “riskier” to insure. Finding SR-22 insurance can be easy if your provider assists with high-risk drivers. This process may also require that you find a new insurance provider.
To get covered, you must submit your SR-22 document to an insurance company. Then, if they offer options for this type of plan, you can accept a policy for your vehicle. This is the only type of coverage you can use to reinstate restricted driving privileges.
If you’re currently insured, call your agent to see if your provider accepts an SR-22 certificate. The easiest solution is to add the document to your plan and adjust your policy with the same company.
Though non-standard insurance costs more than standard insurance, having access to regular transportation without relying on public transit or other people’s rides can make it easier to commute to work, school, and vital amenities. By obtaining the freedom to drive, you gain something priceless that will help you on your road back to good driving behavior and standard insurance rates.
The SR-22: Your Bridge to Full Driving
While driving with a restricted license can feel frustrating, it’s still convenient to access the most important places. Think of it as a temporary situation that you can work your way out of by making the right choices.
Each day you drive safely and live responsibility adds to your case for good behavior and helps at court. In short, each day without incident is an investment in reinstating your full driving privileges.
By complying with all the regulations of your legal orders, you prove that you are trustworthy and a person who can be eligible for a normal license and standard insurance in the future. Your restricted driving mandates will typically include:
- A restricted/suspended license period set by the court
- Attending all ordered driver’s improvement and alcohol safety classes
- SR-22/FR-44 certificate of financial responsibility
- Installing an IID (ignition interlock device) in all your vehicles
- Payment of all court fines
- Payment of all license reinstatement fees
With each repeat offense, the license suspension period and fees go up. There can also be extended jail time that can go on your permanent record. In most states, driving under the influence is a misdemeanor as a first offense, then a felony as a repeat offense.
To keep your record clean and gain access to a future with full driving abilities, do your best to adhere to the court orders and practice safe driving habits. By fulfilling all these obligations, you will be able to present strong evidence to the court for your license reinstatement.
Staying Safe on the Road
These days, it is easier than ever to find a ride when you know you can’t drive. Bars and restaurants are also more than okay with letting patrons leave their vehicles overnight if it means keeping a drunk driver off the road.
Services like Uber, Lyft, and taxis make it easy to hail a ride from the convenience of your smartphone. It’s also a good plan to bring a designated driver with you to a party so you have a go-to person to ask for help. By making smart choices like this, you can still have fun but avoid any more trouble.
SR-22 DUI Insurance Plans
Whether your suspended license period is six months for a first offense or several years for a repeat offense, the SR-22 will help you get back on the road.
However, most insurance providers find it difficult to cover high-risk drivers and may drop you from their policy. If this happens, don’t worry. An independent insurance agent can find you a plan that works for your situation. We’re experienced at filing SR-22 paperwork, and we’d be glad to help you get insured again.
If your existing provider doesn’t offer SR-22 insurance or you aren’t sure if you’re being offered the best rate, we can also help you shop around and find a new one. It’s wise to ask questions and not just settle for the first thing you see. We can help you find the right provider, so you can get back on the road.