Racking up DUI convictions will lead to serious consequences – up to and including spending time behind bars. Most states don’t fool around when it comes to driving under the influence: even for a first offense you can lose your driving privileges, be ordered to pay jaw-dropping fines and fees and even go to jail. Even if don’t lose your drivers license, your car insurance will increase dramatically after a DUI conviction.
Getting pulled over and ticketed for speeding or running a red light can be frustrating, but being cited for a DUI is a completely different story. Finding cheap DUI insurance is possible, but it will take some work on your part.
If you completed all of the necessary requirements and get your license reinstated you might think that your DUI is completely behind you. However it is important to know that a DUI can impact you long-term and the effects can be much worse if you have more than one DUI offense.
How do DUIs Impact Your Driving Record?
Depending on the state where you live, your driving record could be impacted indefinitely because of a DUI. California happens to be one of the stricter states in the country. A DUI will remain on your driving record with the Department of Motor Vehicle for 10 years. This matters because if you happen to get another DUI within that 10-year period, it would be your second DUI in California, which means the penalties become significantly more severe. If you get a DUI in Texas, it will be on your record for life.
Penalties for DUI under California DUI Laws
California DUI penalties are similar to other states and are based on a number of things such how severe the citation was (i.e. someone was injured as a result of your drunk driving) or if you are a repeat offender. Penalties increase as you rack up multiple offenses:
- First Offense: The first time you get a DUI you can expect to pay anything from $1,800 to $3,600 in fines. Depending on the severity of the situation you may not face any jail time, but there is the possibility of serving up to 6 months. Your license will likely be suspended for 4 months or longer. A first time offender is required by the state to complete a 3-month, 30-hour alcohol and drug education program. You may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
- Second Offense: With your second DUI you can expect to have your license suspended for up to 2 years and can spend up to 1 year in jail. The fines and fees may be as much as $4,000 and you will also be required to attend an alcohol and drug program for as long as 30 months. An ignition interlock device will be required along with 3-5 years of DUI probation.
- Third Offense: The repercussions become more severe with your third DUI. You can be sent to prison for a maximum of 16 months and your license can be suspended for up to three years. The fines and fees for a third offense are up to $18,000 and you will be required to complete 30 months of a drug and alcohol program. An ignition interlock device is required as well as 3-5 years of DUI probation.
- Four or More Offenses: If you have had 3 DUI in California you probably cannot imagine the penalties getting worse – that is until you are charged with a fourth. California drivers with four or more DUI offenses can expect up to 16 months in prison and possible permanent license suspension. Drivers will have to pay fees of as much as $18,000 again. The other penalties such as DUI probation and the ignition interlock requirement are also required.
In California, as in many states, you’ll be required to find an insurance company that will insure you and file an SR-22 certificate on your behalf with the state after a DUI conviction. Drivers who are required to have SR-22 insurance are considered higher risk and will pay the price in increased, high-risk car insurance.
How Do I Prevent Getting Another DUI?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drunk drivers are the cause of one-third of traffic-related deaths in the United States. This is a major reason why laws are strict for DUI offenses. In order to avoid getting a DUI, some tips to remember include:
- Identify a designated driver. Select someone each time you go out who will refrain from drinking so they can safely drive home.
- Download Uber or a similar app. Ride sharing services can be affordable and convenient when you need a ride.
- Limit your drinks and eat! If you plan to have a couple of beers or a glass of wine or two, be sure to space them out over a number of hours and eat food in between.
Find Affordable DUI Insurance Today
If you’ve made a mistake and been convicted of DUI, you’ll likely be looking for cheap DUI solutions. At Freeway Insurance, we don’t judge – we help you get back on the road and into some normal life again.
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI and you’re looking for car insurance that won’t cost a fortune, Freeway Insurance can help. Request a free DUI car insurance quote online or over the phone by calling (800) 777-5620. Freeway can get you insured, even if you’ve been turned down by other insurance companies.