An accident can happen at any time. All drivers in California are required to obtain car insurance coverage. As explained by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), motorists must meet the following minimum liability requirements:
- $15,000 for injury or death to a single person;
- $30,000 for injury or death to multiple people; and
- $5,000 for damage to property.
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you could face a steep increase in your auto insurance premiums. Here, our Santa Barbara DUI defense lawyer explains the key thing to know about how a drunk driving conviction will impact your auto insurance costs in California.
The Data: A Drunk Driving Conviction Will Increase Your Auto Insurance Costs
How exactly a DUI conviction will affect your auto insurance rates depends on many different factors, including your age, your vehicle, and your history as a driver. That being said, the data is clear: A drunk driving conviction in California will spike your car insurance costs. According to a report from ValuePenguin, a single DUI conviction raises a driver's auto insurance coverage by 72 percent on average. In some states, including California, a DUI conviction can cause an even more drastic increase in auto insurance rates.
An Insurer Must Send an SR-22 to the California DMV
A driver is legally required to inform their insurance company (or other competing insurance companies) about their DUI. Failure to do so will not stop your rates from rising. If you are convicted of a DUI in California, your driver's license will be suspended or revoked.
When that happens, you will only be able to reinstate your driving privileges by getting an insurance company to send an SS-22 form to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Essentially, this form confirms to the state that your insurer is aware of your DUI and that you still have coverage.
You Have the Right to Challenge a DUI Charge in Santa Barbara County
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, you still have options available to protect yourself against the worst of the consequences. A DUI arrest is not the same as a DUI conviction. California prosecutors have the legal burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced Santa Barbara, CA, DUI defense lawyer can review the charges and the evidence and help you devise a strategy focused on protecting your rights, your finances, your freedom, and your ability to drive.
Call Our Santa Barbara, CA DUI Defense Attorneys for a Fully Confidential Consultation
At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer has the professional skills and legal knowledge to handle all types of DUI cases. If you have any questions about drunk driving and insurance premiums in California, we are here to help. Contact us right away for your strictly confidential initial consultation. With a legal office in Santa Barbara, we provide DUI defense representation in Santa Barbara County and throughout the wider region.