Driving under the influence, or DUI, is one of the major causes of road accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately one-third of all traffic accidents involve a drunk driver. This is precisely why DUI laws are put in place to prevent drivers from driving when under the influence. It is also important to know the actual costs of being charged with DUI. The most notable of these is the change in your insurance status.
However, DUI laws may not always be fairly implemented. Some police officials may be biased against drunk drivers in general. This means that even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) wasn’t high enough, they would book you for DUI. You can, of course, seek the help of a DUI lawyer to help you with a DUI citation.
Notifying your Insurance Company about DUI
If you’ve received a DUI citation, it is best to notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible. The insurance company is going to run background checks on your license anyway. So sooner or later, your auto insurance agent will learn about the citation. This can negatively impact your standing with the agent and the company. So the best course is to do the deed yourself and notify the insurance company as soon as possible.
DUI and Insurance Policy Rates
If you have an existing auto insurance policy, the good news is that your rate is locked until the next renewal. So even if you report a DUI citation, the insurance carrier will likely keep your rate the same. However, the insurer is very likely to bump up the rate at the next renewal. If the company thinks that you are too much of a risky driver, it may choose not to renew your policy. A company usually chooses policy non-renewal in the case of more serious DUI citations.
Things are different if you are on the lookout for a new insurance policy after a DUI. The insurance company will look into your driving record. After determining the severity of the DUI, the company will likely offer you a high-risk policy with a higher premium. This is because the insurer considers you an above-average risk.
Back to Low Insurance Rates after a DUI
Each state has its own ‘lookback’ period when it comes to DUI offences. The lookback period is the period of time for which a DUI stays on your driving record. For South Carolina, this period is ten years. This means that after you get a DUI citation, it remains on your driving record for ten years.
During the lookback period, you can expect to pay higher auto insurance rates. Once the lookback period is over, the DUI citation is removed from your driving record. Typically, this means that you no longer have to pay higher auto insurance rates. Instead, your average policy rate comes down to normal and you are considered a normal-risk policyholder.
How a DUI Attorney in Greenville SC can help you?
Many DUI citations are misplaced. A police officer may stop and check you without any suitable cause. Your BAC may not be high enough to qualify for a citation. Or the breathalyzer test may return inaccurate results. In these and many other situations, you may get a DUI citation even when you don’t deserve one.
This is where a qualified DUI attorney can help you. If the citation stays on your record, you will have to pay higher auto insurance policy rates for many years. This amounts to a significant amount over time. A far better investment is to hire a DUI lawyer and let him review you case. At best, such a lawyer may be able to get your DUI citation dropped altogether. If that’s not possible, your attorney may still get a reduced charge with less damage to your policy standing.
When can a DUI Lawyer help you?
When you are charged with DUI, the charging officer must fulfill several requirements. If any of these requirements are unmet, a DUI defense attorney at The Bateman Law Firm can help your case. For instance, the police officer must videotape the arrest from pulling you up to running the breathalyzer test. If the officer failed to do so, a lawyer can use it to argue your case and have the charges dropped. Similarly, if the office had no legal cause to stop you or you weren’t the one driving the car, your lawyer can defend you. In most cases, a good DUI lawyer can help you get reduced charges or no conviction.