Driving under the influence (DUI), can lead to an accident that causes injury or death. Even if there are no injuries or crashes, DUIs on driving records will result in higher insurance rates. Drivers with a DUI in the US pay $3,336 annually for their insurance premiums. Washington drivers pay $2,233. Although Washington DUI drivers tend to pay less than national averages, this is still 90% more than Washington drivers without a DUI. A DUI can lead to increased insurance costs as well as fines and court fees. It is not worth taking the chance of getting behind the wheel impaired.
Washington DUI laws
Washington has unique laws that punish those who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The severity of the offense will depend on whether it is the first or second offense. There is usually a mixture of jail and fines. All offenders must spend at least one day in jail. However, some can go up to a whole year.
The State of Washington will automatically suspend a driver’s license for first-time offenders. Your license can be suspended for up to four years if they are convicted. The timeline depends on whether the driver has been convicted of any offenses within the past seven years and how serious the incident was. Some drivers may still be eligible for an Interlock Driver License. After passing the breathalyzer, they can drive without restrictions.
Repeat offenders face many of the same penalties, but they are less severe. The $350 minimum fee for first-time offenders, while the $500 minimum fine for second-time offenders, and the $1,000 minimum fine for third-time offenders, is the minimum. No matter how many offenses you have, the fines can reach $5,000. The court may order house arrest, or other stipulations in lieu of jail sentence. However, in every case, the final judgments could be different.
Washington DUI: How does it affect your car insurance
A DUI conviction can result in a rise in insurance premiums for Washington drivers. Although this increase is less than the national average of $1,100, it still represents a significant increase for Washington drivers.
A DUI conviction will be considered a high-risk driver by insurance companies. A premium for insurance is made up of several elements like age, address, and type of vehicle. A DUI is the most significant factor in a driver’s driving record. A third of DUI arrests in the United States are for repeat offenders. This means that insurance companies don’t see the likelihood of a driver getting another DUI. A company that agrees to insure a DUI driver will assume the driver is more likely than other drivers to file claims.
High-risk ratings will cause insurance premiums to rise. Drivers will also need to get an SR-22 certificate in order to be insured. There are many insurance companies that offer insurance in Washington. Some will cover drivers with higher premiums, while others will not provide insurance for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI. After a DUI conviction, these companies may consider the risk of a DUI uninsurable. They might cancel or refuse to renew the driver’s policy. The driver must ensure that they find insurance companies and are prepared to pay any adjusted premiums.
After a Washington DUI, you can find car insurance
Each insurance company has its own formula for creating auto premiums. While some rates are higher in certain areas, a DUI can lead to a significant increase in premiums for even the most affordable company.
Washington drivers who have been convicted of DUI can choose from several insurance companies. Progressive offers the lowest premium, at $2,067 per year. But, this average may not be applicable to every person. Progressive is the most affordable option for Washington DUI drivers, but other providers may offer better rates or coverage options.
Questions frequently asked
What will a Washington DUI do to someone’s criminal record and record?
A Washington DUI is a gross misdemeanor. This can lead to a repeat offense becoming a felony.
What length of time will a DUI stay on a driver’s record?
DUIs and other alcohol-related offenses will remain on your driving record forever. Most insurance companies will not rate them for you after five years. This can reduce your premiums.