People may face Georgia driving under the influence (DUI) charges for many different reasons. Some DUI charges are the result of car crashes. An individual who causes a collision after having too much to drink might face arrest and prosecution. Others get arrested due to technical or per se violations. They fail a breath test and then end up arrested.
Frequently, those accused of drunk driving in Georgia plead guilty instead of defending against those charges in criminal court. People often assume that the penalties for a DUI offense should be minor, especially if no one got hurt in the incident that led to their arrest. However, there are numerous financial consequences for a DUI conviction that may make defending against drunk driving allegations a smart choice. For example, DUI charges can significantly increase the cost of car insurance.
A DUI can drastically increase premiums
Insurance companies look carefully at someone’s driving record and other personal characteristics to determine how likely they are to cause a crash that could lead to an expensive insurance claim. Certain characteristics, including someone’s age and sex, have a strong influence on the likelihood that they might eventually cost the insurance company money.
A history of bad choices at the wheel is one of the factors that the insurance company may consider when deciding how much to charge a new customer or someone renewing their existing policy. On average, a driver with full coverage convicted of a DUI offense in Georgia can expect their policy premiums to increase by 89%.
The average policy costs $2,085 per year in Georgia for someone without a DUI on their record. A driver with a DUI conviction may pay much more, with the average policy costing $3,931. Drivers usually pay those higher premiums for at least three years after the conviction. In some cases, a DUI conviction might make someone a high-risk driver.
Insurance companies might refuse to renew a policy after a DUI connection. Drivers might need to purchase a policy with a different company or reduce the coverage they carry because they can no longer afford the coverage they previously carried. Insurance costs alone can add up to thousands of dollars per year in some cases.
When one also considers fees assessed by the state, fines and court costs, a DUI conviction can be far more expensive than taking the matter to court. Understanding the practical consequences of a guilty plea may help people better respond to a recent drunk driving arrest.