Every year thousands of Americans are injured or killed in automobile accidents caused by drunk drivers. Because the consequences of drunk driving are tragic, most states have harsh penalties for people who are found to be intoxicated behind the wheel.
If you are charged with DWI, you can expect heavy fines, the loss or suspension of your license, and in some instances jail time. You should also know that a DWI charge will drive your auto car insurance rates up, and for many years to come.
How much will my rates go up?
In Texas, the legal blood alcohol level is .08%. If you are pulled over operating a motor vehicle above this limit, you can be charged with DWI.
Know this limit is easy to reach, and even if you think you’re in complete control and handling your vehicle well, it isn’t worth the risk.
Not only are you risking other people’s lives by being on the road, the financial costs of a DWI charge can jeopardize your financial future for the rest of your life.
If charged and convicted of DWI, your insurance company will be notified and your rates will likely increase drastically.
Here are some of the many ways that a DWI could affect your insurance policy in Texas:
- Insurance hike. Being convicted of a DWI means your insurance company now considers you a “high risk.” Although Texas insurance rates tend to increase less than in many other states, your rates can still double or even triple.This can last for many years, and your rate will never return to the rate you had before your DWI charge.
- Loss of insurance. In worst case scenarios, such as multiple DWI convictions, insurance companies can cancel your policy altogether or restrict specific coverage positions.
- For how long? You should expect a DWI conviction to affect your insurance rates for at least a couple of years. Maintaining a clean driving record after a DWI will help reduce rates over time.
- Drivers record. Although there are some options to expunge a DWI from your record, in most cases a DWI conviction in Texas will stay on your driver’s record for the rest of your life.
A DWI charge in Texas is a grave offense that must be taken seriously. However, it’s not the end of the world. If you made the mistake of driving under the influence, there are actions you can take afterwards, such as maintaining a clean driving record, taking driving-safety courses, and contacting a Houston DWI attorney to help minimize the financial penalties as much as possible.
Reach out to a knowledgeable Texas DWI defense attorney
Andrew Williams has over 20 years of experience in criminal law and has handled over 500 DWI and criminal cases. He is the only board-certified attorney practicing criminal defense with offices in Kingwood. If you or a loved one faces DWI charges, give us a call at 281-358-9111 or contact us online for advice or to schedule a free appointment with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.