Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania comes with a lot of consequences. Most people know that the police will arrest them if they fail or refuse a breath test and that they will then likely face DUI charges in criminal court.
Unfortunately, some people have an unrealistically restricted view of the consequences they face because of those DUI allegations. People become so fixated on avoiding jail that they don’t stop to think about the secondary consequences of pleading guilty, many of which might be financial.
For example, you might lose your job if your employment contract has a clause against criminal offenses or your job involves any sort of driving responsibility. A DUI could also affect your enrollment in higher education. You can also expect that you will have to pay more for your motor vehicle liability insurance. How big of an increase should you anticipate?
Drivers in Pennsylvania will pay more than 30% more for coverage
Insurance companies look at your driving record and claim history, along with personal factors like your age and sex, when deciding how much to charge you for your premium. The more serious driving infractions on your record, the more you will have to pay to insure your vehicle. A DUI conviction could mean major claims if you cause a crash, so insurance companies charge much more after one.
Some people find that they have to change the kind of insurance that they carry because their company will no longer underwrite their policy. Even if they can keep the same coverage, drivers with a DUI conviction will pay more for their coverage than those without a DUI on their records.
The average annual rate increase is just $548 for drivers in Pennsylvania, which is less than half of the national average increase. The average increase after someone pleads guilty will represent a 37% increase in their policy costs in Pennsylvania, but drivers around the country average a shocking 65% increase in their rates.
Insurance costs are just one common DUI expense
While the increase in policy costs is lower in Pennsylvania than in other states, it is still hundreds of dollars a year in addition to court costs, licensing fees and other expenses incurred because of the DUI charge.
Trying to fight back and avoid a conviction could potentially save you money for years afterward. Thinking about all of the consequences of a DUI will make it easier to properly respond to possible DUI charges.