After a DUI conviction, your life will change for years to come. For instance, you will be hit with much higher auto insurance premiums, which is an often overlooked financial penalty for a DUI. In fact, the increased cost of car insurance is usually the largest expense most people face post-DUI – not court or attorney fees. The reason premiums rise so drastically is because you are deemed highrisk for another accident or DUI offense, and so the insurance company wants to cover their losses should history repeat itself in the future.
What Is SR22 Auto Insurance?
After a DUI conviction, you will need to sign up for SR22 auto insurance in order to drive legally again. Usually, this insurance is necessary for at least 3 years following a first-time DUI conviction, where drivers remain labeled “high-risk.” SR22 car insurance is not only for DUI offenders, as it is also mandatory for those who have too many points on their license in a given time frame, among other offenses. SR22 insurance provides the state with your continuous proof of liability and financial responsibility.
In California, the following liability minimums are necessary under SR22:
- Injury to one person: $15,000
- Injury to two or more people: $30,000
- Property damage: $5,000
Note: These limits are the bare minimum, and rarely recommended levels of coverage. If you are in another accident, even if it is not DUI-related, you will pay a fortune if you only have the bare minimum of acceptable liability coverage.
Keep in mind, too, if your policy lapses, the DMV will immediately suspend your driver’s license again.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Santa Rosa, it’s important to hire an experienced Santa Rosa DUI defense attorney who has ample experience in assisting clients with these criminal charges. A DUI lawyer can help you protect your reputation, career, and perhaps spare you the enormous expense of SR22 insurance if your case is dismissed.
If you’ve been charged or have already been convicted of a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. for legal representation. I can help you fight for your legal rights, so contact me at (707) 418-5352 today for a free consultation.