Driving while intoxicated (DWI) carries harsh penalties such as fines, probation, license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and even incarceration. However, these are not the only potential consequences of a DWI. A DWI conviction has a significant effect on a person’s auto insurance rates. Insurance companies charge higher rates for individuals convicted of DWI. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is imperative to retain the legal services of a skilled Monmouth County DWI Attorney who can help represent your interests in court to seek reduced or dismissed charges to protect your future.
Can a DWI conviction affect my auto insurance rates in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, if you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above you are considered to be drunk driving. A DWI is a serious criminal offense. Individuals convicted of a DWI should expect a significant increase in their auto insurance rates as insurance companies consider individuals with DWI charges to be “high-risk” drivers. When an insurance company calculates a driver’s auto insurance rates, they evaluate the driver’s driving history to determine an appropriate rate based on their future potential risk of being involved in an auto accident. High-risk drivers are typically those who have major moving violations or frequent minor violations. High-risk drivers have a much higher risk of being involved in an auto accident which causes their rates to be more expensive. The amount auto insurance rates increase yearly after a DWI conviction depends on the state and the insurer. However, in New Jersey, according to statistics, individuals can expect their auto insurance rates to increase by 74% after a DWI conviction.
How long can it affect my rates?
A DWI conviction can affect a person’s auto insurance rates for several years as a DWI charge stays on driving records forever. Since it stays there permanently, an insurer can see this offense when determining a driver’s future risk of being involved in an auto accident. Depending on the insurer, they typically only look back 3 to 5 years into a driver’s driving history. However, for major violations such as a DWI conviction, they may look back even further. Ultimately, a DWI conviction typically affects a driver’s rates for 10 years. Furthermore, a DWI conviction can also cause an insurer to cancel their policyholder’s coverage or refuse to renew their policy. Sometimes, an insurer views individuals with DWI convictions as having too high of a risk of being involved in an auto accident. Insurance companies have the right to terminate a policyholder’s policy after a DWI conviction as they are private financial institutions.
Ultimately, a DWI conviction can cause a person’s auto insurance rates to go up for several years. In the unfortunate event that you have been charged with DWI, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our trusted and determined attorneys who can help defend your rights. Allow our firm to fight on your behalf today to seek favorable results.