Life After A DUI And The Insurance That Helps You
It all started with a bad decision. We have all been there. Mistakes happen.
Getting a DUI is a low point in anyones life.
But, the good news is, there is a comeback. A significant way to change and re-route.
Getting the very best cheap SR22 insurance is easy and affordable.
First, you may want to know what SR22 insurance is and how it can help you.
The good, bad and the ugly of attaining SR22 insurance is actually more good than anything else.
But, knowing what you are getting into and what you must do to get your life back after a DUI is important.
This is something in your life that you will want to get right.
Let’s talk about every aspect of a revoked license and the steps to revive your driving.
What is SR22?
SR22 Insurance is a vehicle liability document required by the Department of Motor Vehicles for “high-risk” drivers.
Not every state requires you to have this document.
The states that do not require it are:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
You may not realize it, but the state and government want you to drive.
They encourage reconciliation with the roads.
But, they must put in order a set of rules and laws to protect citizens.
Part of this includes putting those who have gotten a DUI on suspension.
You have the right to drive, but those around you have the right to safety.
It’s nothing personal, it’s just a way to make the roads a better place for everyone.
For every crime, there is a punishment.
There is more than one way to have your license revoked.
It isn’t just for DUI’s. But, statistically this is one major factor.
Unfortunately, many people choose to drive drunk or buzzed.
Whether it be on a motorcycle, scooter, bike or car, you could get busted.
So what is this type of insurance and is it really insurance at all?
SR22 documentation is “proof of financial responsibility” for drivers who have had their licenses
revoked or suspended for any number of reasons, including:
- Excessive violations within a certain time frame.
- Driving without insurance.
- Outstanding traffic or parking fines.
- At-fault accidents while uninsured.
- Reckless driving.
Just In Case You Didn’t Know…
First of all, DUI’s are expensive. The average cost of attaining a lawyer and paying the system it’s legal fees is over $5,000. This can reach up to $10,000!
This is why it is so important to make sure this never happens to you again.
If you or a loved one has been in this sort of situation, you realize how devastating it can be for the driver, family and friends.
If your license is suspended because of outstanding parking or traffic violations, you will need to now only pay for all of your back fines, but the increase that comes with them.
You may even face jail time.
If you are found at-fault for a car accident and do not carry the proper insurance, your license could be taken away.
Depending on the state you live in, having insurance is not only a necessity, it is the law.
Most states only require the minimum liability insurance, but you will most likely need more.
How Much Will SR22 Insurance Cost?
- In most states there is a $15 to $25 fee to file the SR22. Your insurance company will take care of this for you. They can notify the DMV and file all of the proper paper work. Your responsibility in this is to tell your insurance company that you need cheap SR22 insurance.
- To obtain an SR22 filing, you must purchase minimum liability coverage on all vehicles registered to you, whether they are operational or non-operational. For those who do not own a vehicle, “non-owners” liability coverage is required. Your insurance company will know what to do and what the laws are surrounding this. Your part to play is to stay on top of the timeline in which these things are submitted and to abide by the laws. To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to carry full coverage plus the added coverage that comes with SR22.
- The minimum period for SR22 filing is three years. But based on the severity of the violation(s) and whether or not your liability policy stays active, it could be longer. During this time period you must keep your insurance active by making all your payments on time. Most importantly, make sure you keep a clean driving record. Don’t go back to old habits. Have your friends and family hold you accountable.
- If your insurance lapses, or you get another driving violation, your license will be suspended and you will have to begin the process over again. You do not want this to happen. Make sure that you are on top of payments. Your insurance company should keep your insurance policy active, but it is up to you to check. Try writing down dates on your calendar. Try paying for your insurance annually so that you don’t have to worry about late payments.
- The DMV determines when and if your driver’s license may be reinstated. DMV fees, typically a $10 reinstatement fee, are required to reactivate your driver’s license. In addition, any parking or moving violation judgments or fines will need to be resolved before reinstatement as well. This is good news! After three years, if you have a clean record and have never lapsed on payments, you will most likely get back your license. The hard part is that a DUI stays on your record for up to ten years. You will need to abide by all laws under this time frame. And whatever you do, do not get a second violation. The state may not be as lenient to second offenders.
Statistics On DUI’s
- Every day almost 30 people will die due to an alcohol related car accident. That is a lot! Drunk driving is an epidemic in the United States. This is one reason why the laws surrounding a DUI are so strict.
- In 2015, 10 thousand people died in an alcohol related crash. This estimate is 30% of all car crashes for that year.
- Over 1 million drivers are arrested annually for drunk driving or driving on narcotics.
- It is an almost unbelievable fact: that not more people are killed according to the amount of drivers under the influence. If 1 million people are arrested for driving drunk every year, and only ten thousand passengers die, these is crazy odds.
- Anti-tolerance laws and activists have made an impact on not driving drunk in this country. Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD is one of the largest contributors to this fact. They have helped decrease drunk driving by nearly half since it was founded in 1980.
- The average person metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about one drink per hour.
Facts and Terminology
- High-risk driver: What is a “high-risk” driver? A high-risk driver is one who, according to an insurance company, has a higher risk of getting into an accident, or getting a DUI or in general breaking the law. Insurance companies base everything that they do on statistics. If you have previously had a DUI or have had your license revoked for any reason, you are a high-risk driver.
- Citation: A violation of either moving or non-moving laws in which an official serves a ticket to the person at fault. You do not want to have one of these on your record while you have SR22. You need to keep a clean record if you want to have your full rights back as a licensed driver.
- Defensive Driving Course: is a traffic safety course which improves driving. It may be taken to prevent a citation from being placed on your driving record or to reduce insurance premiums. This may be a good idea when you are hit with a DUI. You may be able to lower your premium and it will look good on your record.
- Negligence: Careless regard for the safety of another or their property. Many times this is how the state sees someone who has gotten a DUI. Putting other citizens in harms way. This is also the reason that they hold you responsible for the next three years by carrying SR22.
- Certificate of Insurance: A written document that proves coverage is in force during a specific time period. This should be carried on you or in your car at all times.
- In the state of California for example, the minimum amount of insurance coverage you need is $30,000 of bodily injury coverage and $5,000 worth of property damage coverage.
- Financial responsibility laws: Laws that make it illegal to not have the minimum state standards of insurance liability insurance. This is basically what SR22 is. This is a financial responsibility statement that your state requires you to have along with your insurance policy.
- Proof of coverage: Written document that shows insurance coverage for the specific property for a specific time period. You must have proof of coverage by carrying your insurance policy in the car with you while you are driving. It is against the law not to have updated insurance and registration of the car which you are driving.
What are my options for insurance coverage?
Here is a list of the different types of insurance coverage offered from most agencies.
In most cases, there are many ways to save and get discounts on these items so that you are not over paying to be insured.
- Collision coverage will cover you and your car in case of an accident. Your basic liability coverage only covers the other party involved in an accident. This means that if you are at fault, the other drivers and their vehicles will be paid for while you will not. With Collision, your own vehicle can be fixed if there are any damages.
- Comprehensive coverage will cover theft and other types of damages. If anything is stolen out of your car, or someone hits it in a parking with a shopping cart, you will not be covered without comprehensive coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist coverage will still cover you even if the other party fails to have insurance. This will only be the case, of course, if they are at fault. This happens more than one might think. Almost 20% of drivers out on the road do not carry insurance. What are the odds of these drivers being safe and respectful while on the road? Not great.
- Towing and Roadside Assistance is a good option when searching for insurance. This could cover tows as well as battery jump starts and emergency key entry. You can add this to your policy for as little as $2 a month.
- Glass coverage is an added coverage for any broken glass on your car. If someone smashes a window or you get a crack from a semi-truck on the road, you can have this covered but only if you specifically have glass coverage.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Knowing what to expect after you get a DUI is a hard truth. It isn’t pretty and no one wants to deal with it.
Search for the facts and inform yourself about SR22.
The truth will be a better and more responsible option.
Some great advice that you should use and use often, is to have a good support system.
Have a few friends and family members hold you accountable.
Make a list of the ways you are going to get your car, life and cheap SR22 insurance back in shape.
Make sure you have a close circle of friends around to help you during this time.
Don’t have people around who judge you and don’t support you.
You will get through this and you need to keep a positive attitude.
There are multiple factors that insurance agencies look at when giving you a price on your insurance.
One of those factors is your driving record. Your driving record will be less than perfect because of your revoked license.
But there are also other factors.
Where you live and how much you drive are factors.
How old you are is another factor.
The safety rating of your car is just one more.
Don’t lose hope and think that your car insurance bill will be outrageous.
Try and find discounts and shop around.
You can take a drivers safety course, for example.
The good about SR22 insurance is that it is a step in the right direction and a way forward after a revoked license.
The bad part about SR22 insurance is that you will need to keep it for at least three years.
The ugly truth about SR22 insurance is that this “ding” on your record may stay with you for some time.
Get the facts.
Do whatever it takes.
SR22 insurance is one small step in the right direction!