If charged with a DUI, you may think the only penalties you’ll face are a few fines and a suspended license. However, this is far from the truth. Not only will you endure possible jail time, but you may be surprised when your insurance premiums have skyrocketed. Keep reading to learn more about how and why insurance rates can increase following a New Jersey DUI and how a Bergen County DWI attorney can help you.
What Constitutes a DUI in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a DUI occurs when someone is operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more. However, if a driver has a BAC under 0.08%, they can still receive a DUI if there is any amount of alcohol in their system, and it affects their ability to operate a vehicle.
Similarly, anyone under the age of 21 who has a BAC of 0.01% or higher will face a DUI. This is due to the fact that it is illegal for anyone under the legal age to consume alcohol. As a result, any amount of alcohol will result in a charge.
It’s also important to note that the charges and penalties you will face will vary depending on whether or not it is your first offense and what your BAC was. For example, a first-time offender with a BAC under 0.10% will face lighter penalties than a first-time offender with a BAC over 0.10%.
What Will My Insurance Rates Look Like After a DUI?
It’s important to understand that a DUI is a serious charge and can come with a number of penalties. Not only will you face fines and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, but you can expect your insurance rates to drastically change.
In general, you can expect your insurance rates to increase by up to 95% following a DUI. This is because insurers will classify you as a high-risk driver, meaning you’ll pay more. Not only will your rates nearly double, but following a DUI, you must pay a $1,000 surcharge to the motor vehicle commission.
However, as the years progress, you may experience a decrease in your rates. However, it will likely take a significant amount of time before your insurance rates return to normal.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing a DUI?
If facing a DUI, the most important thing you must do is contact an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. Though a DUI is different in New Jersey than in other states in that it is considered a traffic violation instead of a criminal one, you can still face criminal penalties.
Though it seems indefensible, discussing the details of your case with the Law Office of Attorney Conway can help you avoid incurring exuberant penalties. Contact us today to learn more about how we can fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances.