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How a DWI/DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Car Insurance


When you are convicted of a DWI/DUI, you can expect there to be financial consequences. Not only will your car insurance rates increase but you will also face multiple financial penalties as a result of your conviction.

The Financial Consequences of a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of a DUI in New Jersey, the penalties vary based on whether this is a first-, second-, or third-time offense. Some penalties include jail time, the loss of your license, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. There is also a multitude of financial penalties, which include a(n):

  • $250+ civil fine, depending on your Blood Alcohol Content and if you’re a first-, second-, or third-time offender
  • Intoxicated Driver’s Resource Center fee
  • Drunk Driving Fund assessment contribution
  • Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund assessment contribution
  • Driver’s license surcharge for 3 years, and
  • Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment contribution

For a first-time offender, you can pay upwards of $3700 of surcharges, fines, and fees. Second-time offenders can expect to pay upwards of $4500, and third-time offenders may face fines and fees totaling more than $6000. After a DUI conviction, you can also expect your car insurance rates to rise.

How Much Will My Insurance Go Up After a DWI/DUI in NJ

On average, a DUI conviction can increase your annual auto insurance price by $1180 or more. This increase will depend on your insurer and how they do their cost analysis. Insurance increases don’t last forever, though.

How Long Does a DUI Affect Insurance Rates?

Again, you will need to investigate your insurance company’s policies and each insurance company will be different. But your conviction can affect your rates for 3-5 years in most cases, but in other cases, they can be affected for even more time. Certain insurance companies may choose to terminate your policy as well —or not renew your policy.

In New Jersey, your DUI conviction becomes a permanent part of your driving record, and if you obtain your driving history abstract, the conviction will always be there. You cannot expunge your DUI conviction. This permanence may also affect how long your rates are impacted.

How Do Insurance Companies Find Out about DUI?

If you were arrested for a DUI but not convicted, you don’t need to tell your insurance company at all. But if you’ve been convicted, your driving record will reflect that. After a DUI conviction is on your driving record, your insurer will find out about it. It’s best to get ahead of things and inform them yourself. Whether you’re trying to renew your policy or get a new policy, they can find out.

DWI/DUI convictions have serious consequences, financial and social. If you are arrested for a DUI, it is in your best interest to get legal counsel. An experienced Bergen County DWI lawyer can help you face and fight the charges in the best way possible.

The Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC cares about our clients and their futures. If you or a loved one have been arrested, reach out online or call our office at (201) 574-7919 for a free defense consultation.

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