How Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance Rates?
There are several serious consequences that follow a DUI conviction. If you are charged with a DUI, the ramifications are not only severe, they can be incredibly costly. DUI charges do more than just affect your record; they can put quite a dent in your bank account. This rings especially true in regards to your auto insurance rates.
South Dakota DUI Laws
DUI laws differ from state to state. In South Dakota, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher can result in a DUI. The driver has the right to choose between a breathalyzer test or supplying their blood or urine for testing. If both options are refused, penalties such as a one-year license suspension will be attached to the refusal prior to a drunk driving conviction. If this is a driver’s first offense, they will face up to one year in jail, a 30 to 365-day license suspension, up to $2,000 in fines, and they are required to file the SR22 form through their auto insurance company; this form serves as proof that the convicted driver has purchased the required minimum auto insurance liability limits. Multiple offenses result in harsher penalties including the potential for prison time and costs that can reach tens of thousands of dollars.
After a first offense, South Dakota residents that are convicted of a DUI become high-risk clients for auto insurance companies. It is no secret that following a DUI conviction, insurance premiums rise. In South Dakota the average annual rate increase following a DUI charge is $624. While this is 63% less than the US average, it does not mean that a DUI charge will cost you a mere $624 a year. If you have any safe-driver benefits, those will be wiped and your insurance company can make the choice to drop you altogether if they believe that keeping you as a customer does more harm than good. It is at that time when you will need to look for an insurance company that sells high-risk insurance. This can be a tall order to fill and the driver in question can likely benefit from employing a DUI specialist.
Hiring a DUI Defense Attorney
A drunk driving attorney can assist in a lot of the headaches that accompany a DUI charge. Because the DUI look-back period in South Dakota is ten years, it is crucial that you have legal representation because, as you can see, a DUI can follow you for quite some time. Further, insurance rates differ by city. Those in Sioux Falls will likely face a higher insurance premium than someone who is registered in Reva, SD. Finding a DUI attorney Sioux Falls residents can put their faith in is not as difficult as the rest of the DUI process. Nicole J. Griese at Griese Law Firm is a DUI lawyer Sioux Falls inhabitants with legal troubles turn to when they are facing DUI charges. Dealing with insurance companies following a DUI conviction is no small feat and you should not have to do it alone. Schedule a consultation with Nicole today to go over what your options are and what you can expect moving forward following a DUI charge.