A conviction for driving while intoxicated in North Carolina is going to cost you a hefty sum, even if there were no aggravating factors surrounding your offense. Even a first-time DWI leads to significant penalties including mandatory time behind bars and hundreds of dollars in fines, among others. The expenses related to your DWI do not stop there, either. Once you begin driving again, expect to see a notable increase in how much you have to pay for car insurance.
Insure.com reports that North Carolina sees the highest insurance rate hike in the wake of a drunk driving offense of any state in the nation.
A sizable premium increase
How much more might you expect to pay per year for insurance coverage once you have a North Carolina DWI on your record? The average North Carolina motorist with a DWI has his or her insurance rates increase by an astounding 371%. Before your conviction, you may have paid somewhere in the ballpark of $1,170 for insurance every year. After one drunk driving offense, though, you are looking at paying more like $4,338 a year for automotive insurance coverage.
An argument for shopping around
Keep in mind that different insurers use different techniques to decide how much to charge you for coverage. So, if your current insurer wants to charge you what you think is a ridiculous amount following a DWI, you may want to get a few more quotes from alternative providers.
Some insurers do not cover drivers who have DWIs in their histories at all. If your current insurer drops you or decides not to renew your coverage, consider shopping several other providers to find the lowest rate available to you.