If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Washington State, there are a number of collateral consequences that you will face in addition to the penalties handed down by the courts. One big consequence that accompanies a DUI conviction is the increased cost and limited availability of car insurance. You will also need to submit an SR-22 to the state of Washington.
What is an SR-22?
Washington uses the SR-22 as a way to help protect its citizens against problem drivers. The SR-22, which stands for statement of responsibility, is a document verifying that you have auto insurance and can pay for any damages you may cause while driving. The SR-22 is written by a state-authorized insurance company that is then submitted to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL).
Generally, a SR-22 is required if you are seeking to reinstate your driver's license after being convicted of a DUI, reckless driving, or other driving violation that results in a license suspension. The SR-22 has to be properly maintained for a minimum of 36 months. If you do not renew your SR-22 yearly or pay your premiums, the SR-22 will be canceled and your license will be suspended until a new SR-22 is filed. In most cases, filing a SR-22 is a “Red Flag” for insurance companies.
How Does a DUI Impact Car Insurance?
One of the longest-lasting impacts from a DUI comes in the form of insurance increases. As soon as your car insurance company learns that you have been convicted of a DUI, your insurance premiums will go up because you will be considered a high-risk driver. You could pay up to $10,000 in car insurance for the first year after your DUI. The typical Washington driver will pay $466.80 extra each year for insurance after a DUI.
In most states, your DUI will remain visible to your insurance company for five years, which is the case in Washington. This means, on average, you will pay an additional $2,334 in insurance increases from your DUI. You will also have difficulty switching insurance companies due to your high-risk status. Once you have a DUI on your record, it is unlikely that you will find better insurance premiums with another provider. The 10 Washington cities with the most expensive DUI premiums are: Tacoma, University Place, Lakewood, Federal Way, Puyallup, Lynnwood, Seattle, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, and Auburn.
Washington DUI Attorney
Regardless of the circumstances, anyone facing charges of driving under the influence has the right to a quality legal defense. If you have been arrested in Washington State, suspected of DUI, call Coleen St. Clair at St. Clair Law Offices (206) 578-2200 or contact her online.