When convicted of a DUI in NC, affordable car insurance rates are hard to come by. Don’t let your past determine the total impact on your wallet.
The Impact of a DUI Conviction on Your Insurance Rates
North Carolina DUI convictions come with consequences that include license suspension, ignition interlock devices, a mark on your driving record, fines, attorney fees, and license reinstatement fees. The overall DUI cost in NC increases more when your auto insurance premium raises because of the conviction. In other words, a DUI can cost a lot of money in the long term unless you do something about it.
So, what is a DUI in NC?
In short, it is driving under the influence of drugs or while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08 percent. Commercial drivers are limited to .04 percent. Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a zero-tolerance policy.
When there is reasonable suspicion that a person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the law enforcement officer puts a suspect through a series of field sobriety tests. If the tests are failed, the result is an immediate DUI arrest in NC. This arrest can lead to DUI charges in NC that can then end in a conviction that comes with many consequences.
What Happens After a DUI Conviction in NC?
Unfortunately, the exact DUI consequences can be confusing because they vary by case. Some people will lose their driving privileges and others won’t. This is because there is a first offense DUI in NC, and there are repeat offenses. A repeat offender is going to be subject to a felony charge and harsher penalties.
But, when is a DUI a felony in NC?
Felonies are reserved for repeat offenders and cases where aggravating factors are present. The aggravating factors include having a BAC of .15 percent or higher, speeding, having a minor child in the vehicle, driving with a suspended license, or driving dangerously.
If a person has three or more DUI convictions within seven years, has caused serious injury while driving under the influence, or caused a death while driving, the charge is an automatic felony. The felony DUI consequences in NC include up to two years in jail, fines, up to one year or permanent license suspension, or a costly interlock device installed on the vehicle for up to seven years if the license is restored.
Combating DUI Costs
In addition to the direct costs of DUI, car insurance rates are hit hard. A simple speeding ticket can increase rates, which means a DUI can lead to an astronomical rate increase. Researching car insurance quotes for NC drivers affected by a DUI is the best way to find a good rate, especially when you’re dropped by your current carrier or met with unaffordable rates.
Overall, you can fight back against some of the DUI consequences in NC. One of the easiest ways to ease the impact on your wallet is by comparing insurance company rates so you can find a company that will work with you. As you navigate your post-conviction reality, what you pay to insure your vehicle shouldn’t be one of your worries.