When a Washington traffic stop leads to a charge of driving under the influence, you may face quite a few penalties if that charge ends with a conviction. You may have to pay large fines, surrender your license or install an ignition interlock device on your car that prevents you from starting it until you supply a suitable breath sample, among other consequences.
While many of the repercussions relating to a DUI are criminal in nature, others are more financial. For example, the amount you pay for auto insurance is likely to increase sharply in the wake of a DUI conviction.
Anticipating insurance increases
How much your auto insurance rises after a DUI conviction depends on several factors, such as whether it is your first DUI and what your driving history looked like beforehand. However, the average Washington driver sees his or her annual auto insurance premiums go up 59% after a DUI.
Say you paid about $1,307 a year for insurance coverage, which is pretty typical in Washington state. After a DUI, your annual premium might look more like $2,079, which makes for an annual difference of $772.
Finding reasonable insurance
Your current insurance provider may decide to drop you from coverage after a DUI. Even if it does not do this, it may raise your rates to a point where they are no longer manageable. For this reason, consider securing quotes from a number of different insurance providers to see which one offers you the lowest rate.
Consider, too, that the insurance provider that offers you the most favorable premium, post-DUI, may not be the same one that does so before it.