Imagine driving home in Joliet on a Friday night. You had a long week at work and met up with some friends for happy hour to unwind. Only a few blocks from your house, you suddenly see a police officer behind you. A few seconds later, the officer switches on the lights and pulls you over. Now, you could be facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge and its far-reaching consequences.
You probably already know that a DUI conviction could come with jail time, heavy fines and maybe even the loss of your driver's license. You could also feel some consequences at work, especially if your job requires you to drive. Another place where you could take a hit is in car insurance rates. Here are a few ways that a DUI might affect your car insurance.
The insurance hike
In Illinois, a DUI can severely hit your pocket book. Not only will you have to pay court fines, fees for an interlock device and various other costs related to a conviction, but your car insurance will also go up. It is common practice across the country for a driver's insurance rate to go up after a traffic violation.
A DUI will cause it to go up even more and residents of Illinois will feel the pinch more than people in other states. This is because the insurance rate increase is generally 28 percent more than the national average.
Shopping for insurance, post DUI
After receiving a DUI, it is possible that your current car insurance might refuse to cover you. If this happens, you will have to shop around for a new insurance carrier. Unfortunately, Illinois has some of the harshest price hikes in the country which can make this process very difficult. In fact, the rate increase is more for a DUI violation than it is for reckless driving or an at-fault collision.
If you have recently received a DUI charge, it is important to remember that you have rights and options. With a proper defense, you might be able to avoid conviction and the financial consequences that come with it.