Those accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses in North Carolina have to worry about substantial penalties. After a conviction or a guilty plea, a driver facing a DWI charge could end up in jail, subject to community service requirements, bound by probation rules or required to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs.
Those court-ordered penalties are the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you think that pleading guilty to a DWI is faster and likely cheaper than defending against the charges, you likely haven’t honestly evaluated the possible penalties. There’s one consequence not imposed by the court that will have a significant effect on your finances.
Insurance companies will charge you a lot more after a DWI
The risk that you have for a large claim or a crash plays a role in how much the insurance company charges you for your coverage. Anyone with tickets and other driving infractions will pay more for the same policy as compared to someone who does not have what missions on their driving record. A DWI can drastically alter what it costs you to have your own transportation.
The average driver in North Carolina pays only about two-thirds of the national average for car insurance. However, a driver with a DWI on their record will see a much more serious spike in their insurance costs in North Carolina than elsewhere in the country. The average policy costs increase by 65% nationwide after a DWI offense. However, in North Carolina, the annual cost for insurance goes from $955 without a DWI to $4,371 after a DWI. That’s an increase of 358%!
A defense protects you legally and financially
While you will need to invest time and effort into defending against DWI charges, the benefits of a successful defense are obvious. You will avoid a criminal record and a major blemish on your driving history. You will protect your license and your freedom while also ensuring that your motor vehicle liability insurance will remain a cost you can afford to pay.
When you understand what is truly at risk, you may better understand why defending against DWI charges is often the best option. Learning more about DWI charges and the penalties they create will help those recently arrested decide what step to take next.