A conviction for driving under the influence in Virginia is a serious offense with significant consequences. Beyond legal penalties and potential harm to others, a DUI can have a lasting impact on your finances.
A notable financial consequence of a Virginia DUI conviction is the impact it has on your auto insurance premiums.
Higher insurance premiums
Insurance companies see you as a high-risk driver after a DUI, and they often respond by increasing your auto insurance premiums. In Virginia, you can expect a substantial rate hike that can persist for several years. The average Virginia driver with a first-time DUI sees his or her annual insurance rates increase by 63%, or an average of about $626 per year.
In Virginia, you may have to file an SR-22 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles after a DUI. An SR-22 is a certificate of financial responsibility that serves as proof you have the necessary liability insurance. The SR-22 requirement can further contribute to an increase in insurance costs.
A DUI conviction can also result in the loss of any safe driver discounts or other incentives you previously enjoyed. Insurance companies consider a DUI to be a breach of trust and may respond by withdrawing any discounts you accrued over time.
While the increase in insurance premiums after a DUI can be daunting, there are steps you can take to mitigate the impact. Comparing quotes from various insurance providers, completing a defensive driving course and maintaining a clean record moving forward can help you secure more affordable coverage in the long run.