DUI and Car Insurance
Car insurance carriers use potential risk to calculate their rates. A driver’s risk of getting into an accident, having his or her car stolen, or colliding with an uninsured driver are some of the factors that affect insurance rates. Unfortunately, a driving under the influence conviction usually causes an insurance carrier to raise a driver’s rates substantially, or cancel the policy altogether.
Many drivers arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) wonder whether they should immediately report the arrest to their insurance company. However, a driver who is merely arrested on suspicion of drunk driving is under no obligation to report it. Because individuals are innocent until proven guilty, there is no need to contact an insurance company unless convicted of drunk driving.
Another issue facing drivers of DUI is the need to file an SR-22 form, or formal Certificate of Insurance. The requirement to file an SR-22 can be triggered by either a DUI conviction in court or a DMV Administrative Per Se license suspension. Because SR-22 forms are only generally required of DUI drivers, requesting one from an insurance company is like waving a red flag to announce a drunk driving arrest, so consultation with a lawyer experienced in these matters is highly recommended.