A North Carolina conviction for Driving While Impaired leads to severe penalties, some of which may impact your ability to hold down a job, pursue higher education or otherwise move forward with your life. While some of the repercussions you face in the wake of a DWI are criminal in nature, other aspects impact you financially. While you should expect to have to pay substantial fees and fines after a conviction for drunk driving, you should also expect your annual insurance rates to rise a considerable amount.
According to Insure.com, North Carolina motorists see steeper insurance rate hikes after a DWI than drivers in any other state in the nation.
How much your insurance rates may rise
If your driving record was pretty typical at the time of your DWI arrest, you might see your insurance rates rise at the same level as other state residents who get first-time DWIs. The typical motorist facing this scenario sees his or her annual premiums increase by an astounding 371%. So, if you paid around $1,170 a year to insure yourself before your drunk driving arrest, you might pay more like $5,508 per year to do so afterward.
Why it may benefit you to shop around
Some of today’s auto insurance companies are more generous to drivers with DWIs on their records than others. On the flip side, some insurers may decide to drop you from their policies or decide not to extend you a policy, after a drunk driving conviction. So, it makes sense to ask for quotes from several companies so you may find the cheapest or most favorable option.
A DWI stays on your driving record for years. You should expect it to impact your insurance premiums for as long as it remains there.