A charge of DUI (driving under influence), also called DWI (driving while intoxicated) basically means two expensive things: paying the legal fees or fines and an increase of insurance premium rates. Every traffic violation is documented by DMV and it will appear in driving history. Since your insurer will use driving record to determine premium rates, any traffic ticket will affect the estimate. A DUI is considered a major traffic violation, and in most cases, it makes insurer treat you as high risk driver.
The basic rule is that high-risk drivers will need to pay more for coverage because they are more likely to get involved in accidents compared to safe-drivers who usually only have to purchase cheap auto insurance. Also, DMV may require you to carry an SR-22 document as proof of financial responsibility in the event of road accidents. Unfortunately, some companies will simply cancel your policy following a DUI conviction, meaning you have to get new quotes from new insurers.
Your driver license is probably suspended too, and you will be able to reinstate it if you have insurance. As we all know, without a driver license or insurance, you are not legally allowed to drive a vehicle anywhere. Despite the fact that DUI is a major offense, it happens quite often. The problem is that the process of getting new coverage can be quite difficult because of the DUI ticket, and there is always a possibility that any cheap auto insurance option will not be available for you.
Every state does indeed enforce strict regulations against driving under influence, but every provider evaluates your driving history by using its own car insurance calculator. The premium rates are determined by many factors, and driving history is only one of them. Every variable is subjective measure, meaning DUI does not always end up in high premium rates depending on how severe the damage actually is. Some companies even consider DUI a less risky traffic offense compared to an at-fault road accident.
What is SR-22?
As a result of any major traffic offense, you will probably need to produce SR-22 document as a proof of financial responsibility to get your driver license reinstated. This document is basically a certification issued by a company verifying to the DMV that you do have at least the minimum requirements in your state. You do not have to produce this document immediately after your license is suspended; you will be given a time period (generally six months) to show the SR-22 to DMV.
The time period varies depending on the severity of the offense. In case you are caught DUI or involved in an accident while driving without insurance at the same time, you may be required to keep the document in your vehicle for quite a while (three to five years). Driving without insurance is probably not a major offense, but you still have to produce SR-22 to get your driver license back. In this case, you will be able to get cheap auto insurance easily since you will not be categorized as high-risk driver.
In some states such as Virginia and Florida, SR-22 document is not necessary, but you need the equivalent of it called FR-44. The only difference is that FR-44 is only required after DUI-related offense, while SR-22 is used for other major violations too. You need to be properly insured to get SR-22; if your policy is cancelled by an insurer, you must get new coverage from other companies. In short, the cost of SR-22 is exactly the same with the price of insurance coverage so you can use literally any car insurance calculator to estimate how much exactly that you need to pay. However, filing an SR-22 also needs an extra cost.
The document will not affect the car insurance rate, but the actual offense which leads to filing the document will. You can always consult an independent agent to figure out your insurance estimate if you do not want to use any online car insurance calculator.