How DWIs Affect Car Insurance
North Carolina is notorious for having some of the most strict DWI laws in the country. Although we’re not sure why, we know it has a huge impact on North Carolina residents in their families. DWIs can not only affect your education, career, and family life, but it can also have a significant impact on your ability to get around, especially when you consider just how much a DWI can affect your car insurance.
Car Insurance Rates after a DWI in North Carolina
In North Carolina, a driver will be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if their blood alcohol content (BAC) measures 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers can be charged with DWI at 0.04% or higher, and there is a zero-tolerance policy for intoxicated drivers under the age of 21.
Getting cost-efficient car insurance after a DWI in North Carolina is not easy. DWIs increase insurance rates far more than any other type of driving violation, including at-fault accidents. This is due, in part, to the North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP). Using a point system, the SDIP is designed to help insurance companies determine the cost of your insurance premium based on your driving record.
In North Carolina, a DWI will earn a driver a whopping 12 insurance points, which can cause a drastic increase in insurance costs. On average, North Carolina drivers convicted of DWI can expect to see their insurance premium jump by 300-400%. This translates to an increase between two and three thousand dollars per year.
North Carolina DWI Car Insurance FAQs
Below are some of the questions we are frequently asked about insurance rates as they apply to individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated.
How long do DWIs affect North Carolina car insurance rates?
In general, most insurance companies look at driving records for the past three years when considering whether to insure a driver. However, some companies may consider driving infractions occurring during the past five years. You must also consider that any additional insurance points earned during those three years will continue to affect your insurance premiums.
What’s the difference between a violation date and a conviction date?
For DWIs, the violation date is the date when you received the original citation (which is also typically the day the infraction occurred). By contrast, the conviction date is the day on which you’re ruled guilty by a judge in the NC court system. Insurance companies use the conviction date when calculating increased premiums.
Do I need insurance to get my driver’s license back?
Yes. In North Carolina, you must be able to provide proof of insurance before your license can be reinstated after a DWI conviction.
Will I ever be able to get reasonably priced car insurance again?
In theory, yes. As long as you don’t acquire any more points during the initial three years after your DWI conviction, and refrain from earning large amounts of insurance points in the future, your insurance rates should eventually go back down.
Remember, if you are charged with a DWI, the best first step you can take is to contact the North Carolina DWI lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys. We specialize in DWI charges and trials and are here to help with the after-effects of a DWI charge. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation at 910-763-1100.