A conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence, more commonly referred to as an OUI or a DUI, has a variety of consequences. The administrative penalties include license suspension and license reinstatement fees. The criminal penalties include fines, jail time, and ignition interlock device installation. But outside of the legally-imposed repercussions of an OUI, there are other potential consequences that people typically aren’t aware of until they’re dealing with it themselves.
One important thing that an OUI conviction can affect is auto insurance. But how? There are a few primary possible ways in which an OUI can affect your car insurance.
Luckily for individuals who get into accidents while driving drunk, they can generally expect to receive coverage to the full extent of their policy. After the fact, though, you may not be able to retain your policy.
Some auto insurance providers will drop customers who have received an OUI/DUI. Most major insurance companies, such as Progressive and State Farm, won’t revoke coverage, particularly for a first offense OUI. However, whether you’re able to retain your policy depends not only on your auto insurance provider, but on the specific circumstances surrounding your OUI conviction.
If you lose your auto insurance due to an OUI conviction, you may also have difficulty securing a new policy with another provider. Regardless of whether you are able to keep your insurance policy or if you need to find auto insurance coverage with a different provider, you’ll find that your insurance rates look very different after an OUI.
The precise amount by which your auto insurance will increase varies from provider to provider. Geico coverage for a driver with an OUI on their record costs 140% more than coverage for a driver with a clear record. Comparatively, Progressive advertises a rate increase of 13% for drivers who have received their first OUI conviction.
Eventually, your OUI will fall off your record and, assuming your driving history is otherwise clean, your rates will return to a lower cost. In most states, this happens after 3-5 years. Massachusetts, however, has particularly strict legislation surrounding OUIs. In Massachusetts, it takes 10 years for an OUI to drop off of your record. This means that if you live in Massachusetts and receive an OUI, you can expect to pay increased insurance premiums for a full decade.
The Commonwealth’s strict OUI legislation extends far beyond insurance. Massachusetts enforces harsh administrative and criminal penalties for individuals convicted of OUIs. If you’ve been charged with an OUI in Massachusetts, it’s critical to seek experienced legal representation to guide you through your case and ensure you’re met with the best possible outcome.
Attorney James Milligan has been practicing exclusively in the area of OUI/DUI defense for over 20 years. Contact him today for your free case evaluation.