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The insurance hit after a DUI

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Under Virginia law, a DUI conviction for first-time offenders results in a fine of $250-$2,500, up to a one-year loss of driving privileges and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. With a BAC of 0.15% or higher, there’s an additional fine and possible jail time of five to 30 days.

Repeat offenses will drive the penalties higher.

Insurance implications

Once your driving privileges are finally restored, getting behind the wheel again is more expensive and it’s complicated. Your insurance company has the right to terminate or refuse to renew your coverage. If the insurance company does renew, you can expect the premiums to go up significantly.

Proof of car insurance

For high-risk drivers, forms edifying that state-mandated insurance requirements have been met must be filed by the insurance company with Virginia’s DMV before driving privileges are restored.

Safety responsibility: The SR-22 form

The required SR-22 form must be on file for three years from the date of driving privileges reinstatement. If there’s a coverage lapse during that time, the insurance company notifies the state, and then the three-year requirement resets and starts again from zero.

The minimum car insurance coverage includes body injury liability at $25,000 per person ($50,000 for injuries resulting in death) and $50,000 per accident ($100,000 for injuries resulting in death). There’s also $20,000 in property damage liability per accident.

In addition, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage must be carried. That would be $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person ($60,000 per accident) and $20,000 in property damage liability.

Financial responsibility: The FR-44 form

In some cases, an FR-44 form must be filed. The compliance period is a minimum of three years, and the state-mandated liabilities are higher:

  • Bodily injury liability is $60,000 per person and $120,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability is $40,000.

The good news is that with good behavior those periods of compliance come to an end, and with a clean driving record the premiums come back down. In the interim, though, the insurance hit is a hefty price tag to bear.