When a Kentucky police officer pulls you over because they suspect that you have had too much to drink, your life could change quickly. Criminal charges could mean court and the risk of jail time.
Even drivers who know that the breath test results from their traffic stops are inaccurate might feel like pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge is a better option than fighting against it in court. After all, trying to defend yourself will mean court costs and other expenses.
However, truth is that an impaired driving charge will be expensive. A conviction or guilty plea will mean substantial fines due to the court, as well as costs related to reinstating your license or participating in an ignition interlock program if necessary. Beyond that, you will also have to pay substantially more for insurance coverage when you do get back behind the wheel again.
What you pay for insurance depends on the risk that you present
You know that you are a safe driver, but your insurance company can only look at your driving record to establish how much risk they have of you causing a crash that results in big claims against your policy. Even someone with a perfect driving record can expect a drunk driving charge to increase what they pay for insurance.
Drunk driving collisions can leave people with severe injuries or even claimed lives, leading to massive insurance claims. Your insurance provider will likely drastically increase the amount they charge for the same coverage after a drunk driving conviction. In some cases, you may even need to find a new policy.
An analysis of policy costs by a website that helps drivers get car insurance quotes paints a grim picture. Drivers in Kentucky can expect to pay, on average, $1,284 more for car insurance each year after a DUI conviction. That represents a 58% increase in the average policy cost.
A big-picture perspective reveals how defending yourself is cost-effective
The wrong perspective could lead you to make a legal and financial mistake after a drunk driving arrest. Pleading guilty to those pending charges won’t necessarily be the most cost-effective solution. Not only will there be short-term costs, but your criminal record could affect what you earn for years.
The long-term expenses and impacts on your license and employability could easily make defending yourself the better solution for your future financial stability. Understanding the various consequences of a drunk driving charge will make it easier for you to respond after your arrest.