Over the last several decades, both government agencies and private organizations have campaigned across the United States to bring public awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving and the need to strengthen existing driving under the influence, or DUI, laws. Those efforts have paid off in most states with tougher DUI laws and harsher sentencing for motorists who are convicted of those laws. Despite the increased penalties for a DUI conviction, most first-time offenders are not sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment. This does not mean you will get off easy if you are convicted of a DUI in Nebraska. On the contrary, you will still likely pay dearly for a DUI conviction albeit in other ways. Specifically, the non-judicial consequences of a DUI conviction are often much more troublesome than the judicial sentence handed down by the court. For example, how will a DUI conviction affect your insurance rates?
Most people realize that a DUI conviction will have a negative impact on their car insurance rates; however, few people realize just how much of an impact it will have. Because insurance rates are based on a number of individual factors, and each company has their own formula for determining how those factors affect rates, it is impossible to predict exactly how a DUI conviction will affect your insurance rates. Typically though, a DUI conviction will raise your insurance rates for a minimum of three years post-conviction. The conviction will remain on your criminal record forever unless it occurred in a state that allows for a conviction to be expunged. State laws differ with regard to how long a DUI conviction remains on your driving record but most states retain the conviction for three to seven years. As a general rule, the longer it remains on your driving record, the longer it will impact your insurance rates.
The extent to which your premiums increase can be shocking. It is not unusual for insurance rates to increase 75 percent or more in the first year after an alcohol related driving conviction. Some premiums even double during the first year. By the third year after a DUI conviction your premiums could still be over 50 percent higher. By way of illustration, imagine that you paid $100 per month in insurance premiums prior to a DUI conviction. A conviction could easily cost you an additional $1000 in the first year and another $500 or more each year thereafter until the conviction drops off your driving record.
Knowing what a conviction for driving under the influence will likely cost you should provide you with an incentive to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away to determine if you have a viable defense that could result in avoiding a conviction. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Nebraska, contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.