Drinking and driving is a perilous combination that continues to plague our roadways, endangering lives and causing irreparable harm.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and impaired driving are not only illegal but also a leading cause of accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
As we explore the statistics, we’ll also delve into the significant financial and legal consequences of a DUI and discuss the implications it can have on your life.
The Sobering Statistics
The statistics regarding DUI and impaired driving paint a disturbing picture:
Fatalities: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for nearly 29% of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. This equates to approximately one alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 50 minutes.
High-Risk Group: Young adults, particularly those aged 21 to 34, are more likely to drive under the influence. In fact, NHTSA reports that this age group accounts for a significant portion of DUI-related accidents.
Repeat Offenders: Shockingly, a substantial number of individuals arrested for DUI have prior convictions. This highlights the persistent issue of recidivism in impaired driving cases.
The Cost of a DUI
Aside from the grave risk to public safety, a DUI can have devastating financial consequences. These costs include legal fees, court fines, mandatory classes, and license reinstatement fees. However, one of the most significant financial blows is the increase in auto insurance premiums.
Can I Get Auto Insurance After a DUI?
Yes, it is possible to obtain auto insurance after a DUI conviction. However, be prepared for some harsh realities:
Increased Premiums: Insurers consider DUI convictions as high-risk behavior, and as a result, your premiums are likely to skyrocket. You may see a premium increase of several hundred to even thousands of dollars annually.
SR-22 Requirement: In many cases, after a DUI, you’ll be required to file an SR-22 form with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This is a certificate of financial responsibility that your insurer must submit, verifying that you have adequate coverage. Maintaining an SR-22 can result in even higher premiums.
Limited Choices: Not all insurance providers are willing to offer coverage to individuals with a DUI on their record. This limits your options and can result in paying higher premiums for coverage.
The Best Approach: Avoiding Impaired Driving
While you can obtain auto insurance after a DUI, it’s undeniably a costly and burdensome process. The best approach, of course, is to avoid impaired driving altogether. Rideshare services, designated drivers, and public transportation are safer alternatives that not only protect lives but also your financial well-being.
Remember, DUI and impaired driving are not only a danger on the road but also financially crippling. The statistics serve as a stark reminder of the importance of responsible and sober driving. By making the right choices, we can protect our lives, the lives of others, and our financial stability.