When a police officer pulls you over because they suspect you of committing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense, you will probably start imagining the penalties right away. You know that you could end up in jail or losing your license. You probably also realize that a DWI charge will be very expensive.
The courts can assess a fine that could be thousands of dollars, and there will be court costs to pay as well. You may need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, which can cost hundreds of dollars in addition to those fines and court costs.
As you evaluate the possible impact of a DWI and decide how to respond, it’s important that you also consider the impact the charge could have on your insurance.
Your costs will definitely go up after a DWI conviction
How much you pay for insurance is a reflection of your driving record and your personal characteristics, like your age and sex. Having a DWI on your record shows that you are a high-risk driver who is more likely than a driver without a conviction to cause major claims later.
The average driver in Texas pays $1,415 for a year of coverage. However, once a driver has a DWI on their record, the cost for the same policy will increase to $2,178. That’s an increase of $762 or 54%!
You could lose your insurance altogether
Especially if you have a prior DWI or other noteworthy traffic infractions on your recent record, your insurance provider may determine that the risk you pose is too high and they will not underwrite your policy anymore. You may need to accept a lower coverage policy or spend time hunting for an insurance provider who will still underwrite you following your conviction.
The insurance consequences of a DWI can be both frustrating and expensive, especially when you consider that those additional costs may persist for multiple years after the crash. Some drivers may realize that it is ultimately more cost-effective to fight and avoid a conviction than it is to plead guilty.
Evaluating the impact of a DWI charge on your life could inspire you to fight back in Texas criminal court after your arrest.