How Does a DUI Affect Car Insurance in North Carolina?

Did you get charged with DUI and think you can fight it on your own? You will soon find out that trying to avoid paying the fee for a skilled Asheville DUI lawyer will cost you much more. The penalties go beyond the fines and license suspension. Your car insurance will become extremely expensive after a DUI.

The reality is that our state has some of the toughest laws on drunk driving. And insurers follow the legislators’ lead and impose steep increases to insurance premiums after a DUI.

You Will Experience a Sharp Increase in Car Insurance Rates

Insurance aggregator sites show that the average increase in premiums after a DUI at the national level is 65%. In North Carolina, it is a staggering 358%. There is no mistake in the percentage value. Your annual insurance rate is likely to jump from just below $1,000 to nearly $4,400.

This is a crippling extra expense for most people. And, no matter how diligently you shop around, you will not find any insurer to quote you a more affordable rate.

What is worse, these extremely high rates will stay the same for around three years. This is the standard look-back period insurance companies look. However, you must avoid any other traffic violations.

Some Insurers Will Refuse to Take You On as a Client

Another aspect you must keep in mind is that your options in finding car insurance will be limited. Insurance companies are private businesses and have the right to refuse to renew your policy or accept you as a new client.

And this issue gives rise to a new problem: you may not use your car, even though your driving privileges were reinstated. While you find an insurance policy you may be able to afford, you have to rely on ridesharing services or public transportation.

Driving Uninsured Is an Offense in North Carolina

In North Carolina,  liability insurance is mandatory for all drivers. Driving uninsured is a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:

  • Driver’s license suspension and registration for 30 days
  • $50 civil penalty fine
  • Probation for up to 45 days
  • $50 license reinstatement fees.

These are the lowest penalties, for first-offenders who drive without insurance.

How does a DUI Affect Car Insurance

Defenses in an Asheville DUI Case

Given these steep penalties, you should consider talking to a skilled Asheville DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Here is how an attorney can help you.

1. Find that the Police Office Did Not Have Probable Cause to Pull You Over

One of the effective defenses of a DUI or DWI charge is proving the lack of probable cause. The police do not have a free hand to pull over anybody just because. They need to provide a reason for doing so.

Using CCTV camera footage and eyewitnesses, a lawyer may be able to prove that your driving was perfectly normal and there was no probable cause for being pulled over.

2. Challenging the Breathalyzer Test Result

Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. There are several problems with them:

  • The device may be poorly calibrated
  • The officer may not be sufficiently trained to administer the test
  • Some foods, prescription medications, or health conditions give a false positive reading.

If the lawyer proves that the BAC level provided by the device is not reliable, the state will be willing to drop the charges against you.

3. Finding Other Procedural Errors

The police must do everything by the book to have a solid case against you. Any mistake, such as forgetting to read your Miranda Rights, may be used as leverage to reduce or dismiss the charges.

Contact an Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer!

Reach out to an Asheville DUI lawyer if you were charged with drunk driving. The consequences of a sentence, just from the point of view of your car insurance rates, may cripple you financially for years.

You owe it to yourself to prepare the best possible defense to DUI charges, so call us today at  828-759-5556 to schedule a free case review!

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