As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, getting convicted of a DUI in Virginia is a serious affair even when it is a first offense. In addition to the possibility of jail and an almost inevitable license suspension, a person convicted can wind up paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars in probation costs, mandatory counseling and other fees.
Moreover, especially if someone drives professionally or is even just expected to drive as part of his or her job as a salesperson or the like, a DUI conviction can have devastating professional ramifications.
Another consequence that might get lost in the shuffle of going through a drunk driving case is that convictions will increase a person's automobile insurance rates. Since motorists have to have insurance in order to drive, increased premiums should factor in to a person's accounting of how much their conviction will cost.
How much even one drunk driving conviction can cost in terms of automobile insurance premiums can be surprising. For the first year after a conviction, the typical person will pay almost double the automobile insurance premiums. Even three or so years down the road, a person will still be paying over 60% more than what he or she would otherwise pay.
Translating this in to dollars, someone accustomed to paying $100 a month for insurance will pay about $1,200 extra during the first year after a DUI conviction and will, for the next two years, perhaps pay another $1,200 extra, or even more. Doing the math, one drunk driving conviction can cost a person between $2,500 and $3,000 on average, just for additional automobile insurance premiums.
The consequences of a DUI are serious and long-lasting. Having an able legal defense may be one way to minimize these consequences.