Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that can have severe consequences, both legally and personally. One area where the impact of a DWI can be keenly felt is car insurance.
On average, when a Texas driver gets a DWI, their insurance rate goes up 58% for 3-10 years, according to WalletHub. This is an even bigger hit than it may first appear. Texas already has some of the highest insurance rates in the U.S., as drivers without DWIs on their records pay an average of $2,400 for full coverage.
Using WalletHub's calculations, a Texas driver with a DWI conviction would pay an average of about $3,800 for full coverage.
A DWI can have serious legal and personal consequences
Like many other states, Texas takes a strict stance on drunk driving, and insurance companies also take these violations seriously. A massive insurance rate hike is just one of many reasons why if you are charged with DWI in Texas, it's in your interest to contact an attorney.
Attorney Amanda Webb and her dedicated legal team have years of experience protecting the freedom of people accused of DWIs in Montgomery County and the surrounding area. We have a wealth of knowledge on Texas DWI law, process, and how to tear down seemingly solid evidence, like BAC test results.
DWI SR-22 insurance
As we noted, when a driver is convicted of a DWI, it can lead to a significant increase in car insurance premiums. The exact rate hike can vary depending on several factors, such as the insurance provider, the driver's prior record, and the circumstances of the DWI.
After a DWI conviction, drivers in Texas are often required to obtain an SR-22 certificate to reinstate or maintain their driving privileges. However, this can be difficult. Insurance companies typically view SR-22 coverage as undesirable or "high-risk" policies.
An SR-22 is a form that verifies a driver carries the minimum required liability insurance coverage. An SR-22 must be renewed annually, usually once every year for 2-3 years. This additional requirement adds to the hassle and financial burden of a DWI, as drivers must obtain and pay for the SR-22 filing.
If you need an SR-22, there's no getting out of it. An insurance card or policy cannot stand in place of an SR-22. Driving privileges and vehicle registration may be suspended if an SR-22 is required and not maintained.
Talk to a DWI defense lawyer about your potential options
In Texas, a DWI conviction can have far-reaching consequences, including a substantial impact on car insurance rates. However, there are steps a driver can take to mitigate the effects. First and foremost, the best course of action is to avoid further traffic violations or DWI offenses, as additional convictions will make the situation worse.
Also, completing a defensive driving course or alcohol education program can demonstrate commitment to responsible driving and may have a positive influence on insurance premiums.
However, the most critical thing to do after an arrest for DWI is to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Remember, the legal process can move very fast, and the sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
If you are facing DWI charges in Conroe, The Woodlands, Houston, or elsewhere in Waller County, Montgomery County, or Harris County, Texas, contact us today for a free DWI case evaluation. A member of our legal team can listen to the details of your case, answer your questions, and help you decide what to do next. Our law firm is available to hear from you any time, day or night, 7 days a week.