When faced with a DWI conviction, people often think about the immediate consequences: fines, jail time, and a license suspension. But there also are long-term consequences of a DWI conviction, including an increase in insurance rates that can make driving extremely expensive. The New Hampshire DWI attorneys of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have represented countless defendants accused of DWI/DUI offenses. If you have been charged with DWI, contact us to learn about your legal options.
The "legal limit” of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in New Hampshire is .08 percent. This means that a person who operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or greater may be arrested and convicted of DWI/DUI. Depending on the circumstances, the costs of a DWI conviction can be high, including fines up to $2,000, court costs, an automatic license suspension, alcohol education classes, an ignition lock, and even mandatory jail time.
On top of all this, people with a DWI conviction will also likely see their insurance rates rise significantly. This usually occurs in two ways — an increase in car insurance premiums and a mandatory SR-22 insurance certificate required by New Hampshire law.
Although it is not required by law, insurance companies will almost always increase your insurance premium if you are convicted of a DWI. Some insurance companies may consider your policy "high risk" and raise premiums accordingly. Others may even chose not to renew your policy altogether, forcing you to look elsewhere for car insurance.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do about an increase in insurance premiums, since they are the province of private insurance companies. The best way to protect yourself from a premium rate hike is to hire an experienced criminal attorney to fight the DWI charges before you are convicted. A knowledgeable lawyer can try to help you avoid a DWI conviction by working to reach a plea deal, achieve an acquittal at trial, or even get your case dismissed if the state does not have the necessary evidence. All of these outcomes will help decrease the likelihood of an insurance premium rate increase.
The other way in which a DWI/DUI conviction will affect your insurance is New Hampshire's requirement that people convicted of a DWI obtain an SR-22 insurance certificate. When you add an SR-22 certificate to your insurance policy, your insurance company informs the Division of Motor Vehicles that you have insurance; your insurance company will also to inform the state if your policy is cancelled. Insurance companies usually charge customers to obtain an SR-22 certificate, which adds another expense to the cost of a DWI conviction.
The best way to avoid the increased insurance costs that accompany a DWI conviction is to fight the charges before you are convicted. The New Hampshire DWI defense lawyers of Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have years of experience defending DWI charges and will fight to protect your rights. If you have been accused of DWI, call (603) 624-3700 or email us to schedule your free and confidential consultation.