DUI Auto Insurance Issues in Washington
When facing a DUI charge, many people's biggest concern is how it will affect their driver's license and ability to drive. While there are several ways that a DUI arrest and conviction can lead to license suspension, being convicted of DUI in Washington can also result in auto insurance issues. As a condition of license reinstatement, all DUI offenders must provide proof that they have the necessary amount of coverage. The most common way to do this is to submit an SR-22 form from your insurance provider.
Another concern that a lot of offenders have is how a DUI conviction will affect their insurance rates. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will use a DUI conviction as a reason to raise your insurance premiums. This is legal and many people convicted of DUI are advised to compare rates with several insurance providers in order to get the best rates. Rates will not increase until the insurance company is made aware of a conviction, however, this usually occurs when requesting proof of coverage.
Anyone who is facing charges for DUI in Seattle should contact our office to make sure that they understand all the penalties they are facing and the full implications of a conviction. If you have been arrested for a DUI related offense, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi right now to set up a free consultation.
Auto Insurance Coverage in Seattle
In order to be able to drive legally in the State of Washington, all vehicle owners need to have auto insurance coverage. This ensures that anyone who is involved in an accident caused by the driver will be able to get compensated from the injuries and property damage they experience. Any driver who is stopped by law enforcement must be able to provide proof that they have the necessary amount of auto insurance coverage. This is particularly so in cases of drivers who have been convicted of DUI.
According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, the following amount of auto insurance is required:
- $25,000 of bodily injury or death of 1 person in any 1 accident.
- $50,000 of bodily injury or death of any 2 people in any 1 accident.
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.
When a person is convicted of Driving Under the Influence, they are considered a “high risk driver” meaning that they are statistically more likely to cause an accident in the future. For this reason, it is especially important to the Department of Licensing that these drivers have the necessary insurance coverage. When a person is convicted of DUI in Washington, they are required to show, what is known as, “proof of financial responsibility”. According to the Department of Licensing, there are 3 ways that offenders can provide this proof:
- SR-22 certificate of automobile insurance. This is the most common method of filing proof of financial responsibility.
- Certificate of deposit issued by the Washington State Treasurer, showing you've deposited $60,000 in cash or securities.
- Liability bond for at least $60,000.
The easiest and most common option is providing a SR-22 certificate. This is a form that is provided to an offender by their auto insurance company that states that they have the minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. This form is not a policy itself, but rather proof that the offender has a policy. For more information about requesting and filing proof of financial responsibility, see the Washington Department of Licensing's website or contact our office.
What is a SR-22 Certificate?
If you are convicted of DUI in Seattle, you will likely be sentenced to a period of license suspension. Often, this suspension can be limited if you elect to install an ignition interlock device. Regardless of how long your suspension takes place, you will be required to provide a SR-22 as proof that you have auto insurance. A SR-22 form is required for 3 years after a DUI conviction. This document will also require your auto insurance provider to notify the Department of Licensing should your policy be cancelled for any reason. If you fail to make your payments or switch policies and do not notify the Department of the change, your license will be revoked.
Call a Seattle DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Seattle and are concerned about your auto insurance rates going up, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi right away. The best way to avoid the negative consequences of a conviction is to avoid conviction altogether. Only an experienced DUI lawyer can help you build your strongest defense.
Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who knows what it takes to beat DUI charges. He will walk you through the entire process and help you get your license back as soon as possible.