According to MADD, during 2006, 203 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Houston. Of those, 147 people were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. The likelihood of a person in the metropolitan Houston area to lose his/her life to a drunk driver is:
Over the past five years, Houston has consistently had almost twice as many people killed in alcohol-related crashes than the next county (Dallas) on the list.
These statistics mean that one in three of Houston, Texas residents will be directly involved in a drunk driving crash at some point in their lives. An estimated 1.2 million people will experience property damage, injury, bereavement or death because of a drunk driver.
How Does a DUI Affect Car Insurance Rates?
We understand that receiving a DUI* can be a difficult experience. As you can imagine, having a DUI on your driving record means you'll be paying for it long after your court or legal interactions have ended. In fact, a DUI often directly impacts what you pay for auto insurance. Here's why.
Driving Records Show DUIs
Your driving record shows if you have a DUI conviction. If you want to purchase an auto policy with a company, it generally requests and reviews a copy of your driving record, during which the DUI will be noted. If you're renewing your auto policy, your driving record also may be reviewed to properly set your insurance rate.
You May Be Considered a Higher Risk Driver
A DUI affects what insurance companies charge you for insurance because they may consider you a higher risk driver. Often, points are added to your driving history because of a DUI. When insurance companies assess this history, they may charge you more if you have more points than the average driver.
Some insurance companies may not even insure you if you have a DUI on your record. Progressive will insure you regardless of whether or not you have a DUI, though we do charge you appropriately for one.
In Texas, an SR-22 Filings May Be Required
Most of the time, you'll also have to file an SR-22 if you're convicted of a DUI. An SR-22 is a statement of financial responsibility that serves as proof that you have the proper amount of insurance that your state has required you to have. Your insurance company may file the SR-22 for you (generally, Progressive does), but be sure to check with your company for their standard procedure.
Depending on your situation, you may have to file an SR-22 for several years. The amount of time an SR-22 remains active is based on your state and the incidental factors surrounding your DUI. Having an SR-22 often puts you in the higher risk category with auto insurance companies, which means your rates could increase and remain higher several years after you receive a DUI.
Though a DUI doesn't inherently cause your insurance rates to increase, it most likely will. If you get a DUI, it's not the end of the world. However, expect to pay for it for at least a few years — especially if it concerns your auto insurance.
Request your free Houston, Texas car insurance quote today!