A DUI is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences. West Virginia DUI convicted drivers pay $2,207 on average for auto insurance, compared to the $3,336 annual average premium for drivers with a DUI. Although West Virginia’s average auto insurance premium is lower than the national average, this is still an increase of $1,021 over drivers who have a clean driving record. A DUI can make it difficult to find affordable car insurance. This is because insurance companies will assign you a high risk rating which means that you will pay much higher premiums. A DUI can lead to rejection by some companies, which will make your chances of getting a good policy slimmer. Drivers with a DUI can face legal and insurance penalties.
West Virginia has DUI laws
Driving under the influence can be a dangerous habit that many people do, even though they know it is wrong. Even if the driver manages to avoid a crash, being pulled over by police officers can lead to serious consequences. A DUI conviction in West Virginia can lead to fines, jail or both.
Depending on driver’s blood alcohol content, they could face jail sentences of anywhere from two days to six months. Fines can range between $100 and $1,000, plus court costs and attorney fees. Things get worse for repeat offenders. A person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI offense can face felony charges and up to three years imprisonment and $5,000 fines.
Drivers can expect to lose their driver’s license or have it suspended. The penalties for driving can vary depending on the driver’s age, BAC and other factors. However, a driver’s license may be suspended or revoked within 30 days to one year. Drivers may be able to drive much sooner if they pass the Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock Program in West Virginia. After a 15-day period of revocation, motorists convicted for DUI can take the test and lock program. Drivers are allowed to drive as long as they pass the breathalyzer. It is up to West Virginia to decide if this program is allowed or not.
What a DUI can do to your West Virginia car insurance
Drivers in West Virginia see their rates almost double after a DUI. This is also true nationally. Although the 79% increase is less than the national average increase, it still represents a significant difference from what drivers may have paid before the DUI. It can be costly to pay twice the amount you used to for insurance.
Finding a company that offers insurance can be difficult. A company that doesn’t offer coverage for drivers with DUIs can cancel your policy or refuse to renew it. A DUI is the biggest adverse factor in an auto insurance premium. Drivers who are convicted of DUI offenses are high-risk. You are more at risk of getting another DUI because many DUI arrests are for repeat offenders.
After a DUI, West Virginia: Finding car insurance
Although insurance premiums for DUI drivers are usually higher, it is possible to find affordable coverage. It is important that you shop around to compare rates, coverage and companies. Avoiding any tickets or violations can help you reduce your risk of paying high premiums in the future.
West Virginia DUI drivers can get insurance from several companies. Some rates are cheaper than others. Other factors, such as your age and vehicle type, should also be considered. On average, Progressive is the most competitive rate for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI, while USAA and Erie are close behind.
Questions frequently asked
What will a DUI in West Virginia do to my criminal record?
A DUI is a misdemeanor for first-time DUI offenders in West Virginia. It becomes a crime after the third offense.
What effect will a DUI have on my insurance premium for the rest of my life?
Every insurance company is different. A DUI conviction will remain on your driving record in West Virginia for 10 years. Points against your record will be recorded for two years. Both of these could impact your rates. Your premiums should start to fall if you only have one DUI conviction.