The consequences for drinking and driving can be severe, and can have long-lasting impacts on your life, both in terms of your driving freedom and your financial loss.
If you are stopped by a police officer, you will be asked to perform a series of short screenings. Sobriety tests are detailed physical and mental capability tests. Most likely the whole process will be video recorded and will be available if there is a court trial. It is of the utmost importance that you are polite and compliant toward the police officer. Answer the officer’s questions honestly. You will, most likely, may be taken to jail and booked if there is sufficient evidence of DUI. This is only the beginning of a very long, serious and expensive process.
From an insurance company perspective, DUI offenders are very high-risk drivers. The insurance premiums for a high-risk driver may be more than three times as expensive than a good driver. The premiums are high for a reason; DUI is both dangerous and a very costly risk for an insurance company. The statistics of DUI associated deaths, injuries and property damages speak for themselves.
It is always a wise decision to seek legal counsel that specializes in DUI defense. They will be knowledgeable about all of the legal factors and requirements essential to your defense and compliance.
If you are convicted of DUI, you may go through many stages of disciplinary action in order to retain or regain your driver’s license. The insurance company also plays an important role in ensuring that the insured driver is compliant with the court requirements. You may be required to attend classes and pay hefty fines and fees/taxes, in addition to high insurance premiums and legal fees. You will be required to obtain an SR22 form from your insurance company; this form is proof that you are, in fact, have insurance before reinstatement will be even considered.
Having a current SR22 on file with the DMV may be required for up to three years. It is important that all of the immediate and longer term requirements related to the SR22 filing are fulfilled; your driving privileges may be immediately suspended if you allow the SR22 to lapse. Because DUI is a serious offense, it must be handled very carefully in order to repair the damages as quickly as possible. In some cases, it may take several years to repair your driving record, and several more years to recover from the financial impacts.