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If you’re convicted for OVI, prepare for your insurance rates to rise

A conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) or other drunk driving offense not only can leave you without a driver’s license, behind bars and owing some hefty fines. It can make it difficult – and very expensive – to obtain auto insurance for years to come. 

One recent study by NerdWallet found that a drunk driving conviction can nearly double insurance premiums. The study looked at rates for drivers with and without convictions throughout the country.

Of course, car insurance rates vary significantly by state. However, the premium increase after a drunk driving conviction also varies. Further, drivers are likely to pay higher premiums for at least three to five years, depending on how long the incident stays on their driving record.

What is an SR-22?

After a drunk driving conviction, drivers typically have to obtain an SR-22. This is often referred to as “SR-22 insurance,” but it’s not a type of insurance. It’s a certificate of financial responsibility. You’re certifying that you will have the required minimum level of insurance for your state.

The SR-22 fee itself is typically a one-time cost of about $25.00. However, having one limits what insurance companies will give you a policy. It will also raise the rate on any policy you are able to obtain.

Certainly, people can and do obtain insurance after an OVI conviction. It just takes some time and research to find a policy from a reputable company that’s affordable. Before you make the decision not to fight an OVI charge, it’s important to make sure that you understand all of the ramifications that come with it – including high insurance rates.