Being convicted of a DUI is a serious driving offense. While laws vary from state to state, the one constant is that all states take a DUI very seriously, especially if not your first offense, and the penalties can be quite harsh. If you are cited with a DUI by a law enforcement officer in your state, before doing anything whatsoever would be to call a lawyer.
It is also important to find a lawyer in the state in which the accident happened because each state has its own laws and only a lawyer in that state can represent you in court. So then, if you get charged with a DUI in Illinois, find the best Chicago DUI attorney you can because your future driving privileges and car insurance can, and usually will, be affected if you are found guilty.
1. A DUI Conviction Can Result in Suspension or Revocation of Your License
The first thing to be aware of is that in most states, it is mandatory to suspend your driving privileges for prespecified periods of time after being charged with a DUI. You might be wondering how this would affect your car insurance, but the answer is very simple really. If your license is suspended, your car insurance will not cover you if you get behind the wheel. Until your license is reinstated, you will not find any insurance that will cover you as the driver of a vehicle.
2. When Eligible to Drive Again Insurance Rates Will Go Up
Next on the list is the fact that you can absolutely count on insurance rates going up once you are able to drive legally again. Besides the necessary SR-22, you will find that any insurance company will charge very high premiums because you are now a high-risk driver. Remember, insurance premiums are based on the amount of risk that company is insuring against and with a DUI conviction, you are obviously going to be a high-risk driver.
3. Some Insurance Companies May Refuse to Underwrite a Policy for You
Another way in which a DUI can affect automobile insurance coverage in the future is that some insurance companies may refuse to sell insurance to you. A lot depends on the severity of your DUI such as whether or not you were involved in an accident while under the influence and whether there were any injuries resulting from drunk driving. Sometimes insurance companies are a bit more forgiving if you only received a citation in a routine traffic stop, but that will not usually affect rates. The only advantage here, if you can see it as an advantage, is that some underwriters may be willing to sell you a policy.
If you are ticketed for driving while under the influence, whether involved in an accident or not, you should hire an attorney. Sometimes officers don’t follow procedure when citing or arresting you and other times they failed to adequately get levels in a timely manner. There may be ways to dispute the charges and a lawyer is your best defense.