Pleading guilty to a DUI charge or getting convicted of one at trial can have consequences beyond a possible jail sentence, having to pay a hefty fine or even losing your driver’s license.
Expect a jump in insurance costs
Besides losing your independence and feeling the embarrassment of your family, friends and co-workers finding out, you will also have to pay more for car insurance. On average, American drivers without a DUI on their records pay $1,674 per year in auto insurance premiums. After a conviction or guilty plea for impaired driving, that figure jumps to $3,139 — an 87 percent increase.
Here in Oregon, the numbers are a bit better, but not much. A DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Oregon’s version of DUI) raises the average annual premiums from $1,346 to $2,301, or about 71 percent. This huge bump in price can last ten years or longer before returning to normal. Different insurance companies offer different rates, but generally, you should expect to pay a lot more for auto insurance.
Keep this in mind
This is not to say that pleading guilty should always be off the table. You and your defense attorney should consider all your options. For example, a plea bargain that keeps you out of jail and gives you the chance to regain at least limited driving privileges might be a fair tradeoff. On the other hand, knowing the costs of a DUII on your record should be part of your consideration. At the very least, it should be one of the things you weigh when deciding whether to take the case to trial or not.