Are you feeling anxious about an upcoming court date relating to a charge of driving under the influence? You may have good reason to feel the way you do; the state of Texas takes drinking and driving extremely seriously and penalizes its drivers who do so accordingly. If your drunk driving charge winds up leading to a conviction, you could potentially face a broad range of penalties, and these penalties tend to increase in severity with each subsequent drunk driving conviction.
Even first-time Texas DUI offenders may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, spend up to 180 days behind bars and surrender their licenses for up to a year. Unfortunately, drunk-driving-related repercussions do not stop there. Once your driver’s license suspension period ends and you resume driving again, you will have to find an insurance provider to cover you, or, conversely, pay your current provider substantially more than you were prior to your conviction.
Steep insurance rate hikes
Across the nation, drivers convicted of drunk driving typically see their automotive insurance premiums rise somewhere between about 28% and 371%. In Texas, specifically, you can plan on seeing your insurance rates rise by about 59% once you have a conviction for drunk driving on your record. If, prior to your DUI, you had an otherwise average driving record, automotive insurance coverage probably cost you about $1,644 a year. With that DUI, though, you are looking at paying closer to $2,619 a year for insurance, which makes for an annual difference of $975.
Additional potential insurance problems
Paying almost $1,000 more for a year of insurance coverage may well prove difficult, but so, too, might finding a provider that agrees to extend you insurance coverage. Some companies may cancel your policy or refuse to issue you one once they know you have a conviction for drinking and driving, which may complicate matters even further.
A drunk driving conviction has the potential to upend numerous aspects of your life, and the financial toll it takes is often considerable and long-lasting.