When you get convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Colorado, you know that you face criminal penalties. In some circumstances, you can go to jail. In others, you may be placed on probation and made to complete alcohol education classes. You can also lose your license. But there is more that can impact your life beyond these already large disruptions.
One of the major problems that a DUI, DWAI, or DWI can create is an increase in your car insurance. You must have car insurance to be able to legally drive a car on Colorado roads, and a DUI on your record can make your car insurance rate go up for quite some time.
Even a single DUI can have a lasting impact on your car insurance – it may increase your premium for years. Here is what you need to know about how a DUI can impact your car insurance in Colorado.
How Does an Insurance Company Find Out?
You may think it’d be easy to simply not disclose that you’ve had a DUI to your car insurance company, but it really doesn’t work that way. The Department of Motor Vehicles in Colorado will have that information, and when it’s time to renew your insurance policy, they perform a check on your driving record. The DMV would note that you’ve had a DUI.
Hiding your DUI from the insurance company isn’t really an option. It won’t help to prevent you from paying more for insurance, and they may drop your policy completely if they find out you didn’t disclose the information. You may also need your insurance company to file a special form, called an SR-22, on your behalf. This shows the DMV that you have liability car insurance so that your license can be reinstated.
What Is SR-22 Insurance?
In Colorado, drivers who have a conviction for a traffic offense on their record, such as a DUI, will need SR-22 insurance in order to reinstate their driver’s license. This is filed by the insurance company with the DMV to show the state government that you have adequate coverage on your vehicle.
In the state of Colorado, it costs over $1,000 per year to have this minimum coverage on your vehicle for liability. This is several hundred dollars more than the standard insurance policies that drivers without a DUI on their record must carry. On top of that, when your insurance company files the SR-22, they may also charge you a fee for filing it.
For those who have had DUIs, you may be required to carry this type of insurance for up to three years, on average. In some cases, in which a person has gotten their first DUI, they may only need it for a few months, but that is not always guaranteed.
How Long Will a DUI Stay on Your Insurance?
A DUI can remain on your record for up to 10 years. It can impact your insurance rates for up to five years after you’ve been convicted. Three years after your DUI conviction, you may want to contact your insurance company to have your rates evaluated to see if you can have your rates brought down.
There are many reasons to fight against DUI charges, and increased insurance rates are one of them. If you’re facing a DUI, make sure that you get help from an experienced attorney to guide you through.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2020 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.