The prevalence of drinking and driving advertisements and the concerted effort to raise its awareness are no coincidence. As recently as 2013, 31% of motor vehicle deaths were caused because a driver was intoxicated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that year, over 10,000 Americans lost their lives due to drinking and driving – a horrific and growing problem.
You need no other reason to call for a ride than the danger of killing another human being (or yourself). However, if you are caught drinking and driving and are rightfully given a DUI, you will face a score of consequences.
Fines, a suspended license, community service, possible jail time, and mandatory alcohol and drug education classes are all repercussions for first-time offenders. If you are convicted of more than one DUI, the penalties become even more steep.
While these consequences of drinking and driving are more commonly known, DUI offenders will also feel the pain from the automotive insurance industry.
Rising Costs And Issues With Auto Insurance
If ever you receive a DUI, automotive insurance companies immediately flag you as a high-risk driver. And of course, higher risk for them means higher premiums for you. Even more, some insurance companies simply refuse to insure those with DUIs on their record.
Depending on the state, A DUI stays on your record for three to seven years, meaning you would have difficulty finding insurance providers and pay steep premiums to get coverage.
Speaking of which, before you are even permitted to drive again, you are required to obtain a certificate of insurance (also known as an SR-22), which provides proof that you are insured with at least your state’s minimum liability limits.
Are You Covered?
Not only will you pay the price of higher auto insurance premiums in the future, but if you drink and drive and get into an accident, your insurance company may not cover any of the damage.
Other auto insurers cover only the damages of the victims of drunk driving if you are assessed a DUI. You would have to pay out of pocket to repair damages to your own vehicle, which is an average of $3,144 per collision claim.
With such a devastating problem, our society is taking a firm stand against the dangerous decision that too many of us make. Whether it’s the legal system, insurance industry, or even employers who require clean records, America is doing everything it can curb drunk driving.
The ramifications are clear: Drinking and driving is a serious offense, and those who get a DUI will face an abundance of severe and costly penalties.