We all know that driving violations will make your car insurance rates jump, but none of these violations is as severe as a driving under the influence ticket. In the past decade, the law has really started cracking down on drunk drivers. Many states have adjusted the blood-alcohol level they deem legal for driving and have also increased the penalties for driving drunk. For your first DUI ticket, you can usually expect to spend at least a day in jail, pay a fine upwards of $5,000, have your license suspended, and may have to go to alcohol-education classes. There are also states which require you to have an ignition interlock device into your car before you can drive again. You will have to blow into the device to prove you aren’t drunk before your ignition will unlock.
There is good reason that states are cracking down on drunk driving: it is dangerous for you and everyone else around you. And we know that the car insurance companies hate risk which is why they are really going to crack down on you if you get a DUI.
At the very least, you can expect your car insurance rates to go up by 200% after a first-time DUI ticket. In many cases though, you will end up paying much more than double. You will have to keep on paying the high premium for the amount of time that the DUI stays on your driving record, which is usually 3 years.
Things get even worse if you get a second DUI. By that point, you are considered an incredibly risky driver and will likely be paying over $2,000 yearly for the most minimal coverage. There are also extra penalties for first-time violations which are considered severe, such as those who break the “super drunk” laws. “Super drunk” is typically considered a blood-alcohol level over 0.15%. Many states have specific penalties for people who go above this threshold, like required time in jail and much larger fines. You will most likely need to install that ignition interlock device. That alone costs about $200 plus a fee every month of about $75.
Of course, fear of high car insurance premiums shouldn’t be your only motivation not to drink and drive. Drunk driving is a leading cause of death in many countries, including the US, Canada, and UK. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but the lives of those around you are at risk. Since we rely so much on our vehicles for transportation, it can be hard to avoid driving completely every time you want to have a drink. That is why it is so important to know your limits before you have a drink. Unfortunately, there is no set way to determine you limits. It depends on your age, weight, body type, gender and your state laws. In absence of a set formula for how much you can drink and still legally drive, it is always best to veer on the side of caution.