If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Woodbridge Virginia, you may experience changes to your insurance, or your carrier may drop your coverage leaving you searching for an affordable option. You may lose your ability to secure a professional licensure, and you may end up with a criminal record making it difficult for you to seek employment or secure housing. Contact an experienced DUI attorney to see if they can help to have criminal charges reduced.
Expensive insurance policy.
After being convicted of a DUI in Virginia, a driver may be classified as high risk, which is why it is important to try to beat a conviction if charges are placed against you. The added expense, or possibility of losing insurance all together will be amplified if a driver has had previous DUI activities because this behavior reveals to an insurer that you are a high risk driver.
Many carriers will increase premiums after a DUI in Virginia, but some will just drop your coverage because you had a bad driving record before this charge, past DUI activity and/or a DUI occurring before you were 21 years of age. You will be placed into a special high risk insurance pool requiring SR-22 or FR-44 or FR-46 coverages. When required to obtain high-risk insurance within the state of Virginia, the policy must be maintained for a three-year period in order to avoid further penalties. The insurance provider will notify the state of any significant changes to your policy, such a lapse in your policy or the cancellation of a policy for high risk behaviors.
SR22 must be maintained for the three -year period and the policy must meet Virginia liability insurance coverage limits: $25,000 bodily injury/death of one person, $50,000 bodily injury/death of two or more persons and $20,000 in property damage. SR-22 rates will be even higher and coverage limits are doubled under more serious offenses.
Virginia FR-44 or FR-46
Certain DUI offenses in Virginia will require you to submit a certificate of financial responsibility, also referred to as FR-44 insurance form. Providing proof of insurance after DUI in VA is generally necessary for offenses such as operating while under the influence of intoxicants or drugs. In this case, you will be required to obtain a minimum of $50,000 for bodily injury/death of one person, $100,000 for bodily injury/death of two or more persons and $40,000 property damage.
“At fault” state.
If you are in an accident while driving under the influence, fault will most likely fall upon you as Virginia is an “at fault state” meaning the party found to be responsible for the accident will have to compensate all other parties involved in the accident the DUI caused. A person who is proven to be under the influence is negligent of driving in a condition which is not “reasonable” for their safety and others.
Recovery of damages.
Damages caused by driving under the influence will cover medical bills, lost wages, and lost property for victims. Depending on the extent of damage to property, or injuries sustained by a person in an accident, the minimum insurance coverages might not be enough to cover the whole recovery amount. If a civil suit occurs it will also impact the ability to secure insurance.
It is important to hire an experienced attorney to try to lessen the severity of DUI charges that will impact your ability to secure affordable auto insurance, impact professional licensure, impact future employment choices and housing.