If a Virginia police officer arrests you for driving under the influence (DUI), you probably understand that your arrest will be expensive. Between the cost to mount a defense or the fines possible if you just plead guilty, the arrest might mean thousands of dollars in expenses.
One of the reasons people quickly plead guilty to DUI charges and similar offenses is a fear that prolonging the process will make it cost more, possibly by damaging their reputations or requiring time off of work. What these individuals fail to consider is that there are substantial secondary costs that they will have to handle after a DUI conviction.
Your insurance costs will go up dramatically
The fines the courts assess will only be the first costs you need to worry about after a DUI. There will also be license reinstatement fees and court costs. You expect to pay significantly more for car insurance.
Your driving history has a direct impact on how much you pay for insurance. Even a simple speeding ticket could lead to an increase in rates. Drunk driving is a major liability because it could cause a crash that leaves someone with catastrophic injuries or tens of thousands of dollars in property damage losses. Insurance companies view those with a prior DUI as a much more serious financial risk than the average policyholder and increase what they charge accordingly.
According to an analysis of insurance costs before and after a DUI charge. Virginia drivers will see a major jump in their insurance premiums. On average, a single DUI offense on your record in Virginia will increase your rates by 52%. Although that is a significant increase, it is less than the 65% average increase across the United States.
A conviction isn’t a given with DUI charges
Another reason that those accused of drunk driving frequently plead guilty is because they think they can’t possibly defend themselves. However, there are numerous defense strategies that can help someone facing impaired driving allegations. Options ranging from showing that the traffic stop was illegal to providing an alternate explanation for a failed breath test could help you avoid a conviction.
Exploring your options for a defense against DUI charges can help you minimize the long-term cost of a single arrest.