If the police arrest you and charge you with driving under the influence (DUI), it is crucial you understand the full extent to which a conviction could affect your life.
Aside from potential license suspensions, fines and jail time, you could also be doomed to pay vastly increased insurance premiums if you intend to use your car after any license suspension has expired.
Insurance companies see you as a bigger risk
Many people the police catch driving over the alcohol limit will have consumed alcohol and driven before. They were just lucky in getting away with it up to now. Hence it is logical that an insurer thinks they might do it again.
Even a small amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely, so when they see you have a DUI conviction, they figure you are at a higher risk of crashing. That could prove expensive for them, especially if you injure someone else, so they adjust your premiums to account for it.
One report found that the average person convicted of a DUI in Maryland will see their insurance premiums rise by 78% after a conviction. Times it by a few years, and it works out as a significant amount of money. While 78% might seem outrageous, it is below the nationwide average of 99%.
Can you afford to fight the charges?
Many people plead guilty to drunk driving charges because they feel they cannot afford to pay for legal help to fight them. Yet, once you understand the full cost of a DUI conviction, you may consider you cannot afford not to fight back.