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How Does Having a DUI Affect Your Car Insurance in South Carolina?

Maybe you were out celebrating a promotion or your friend’s birthday and you drove home after having a few drinks. During your drive you were pulled over and charged with a DUI. Once you’ve taken care of the legal fees, it’s time to start going back to normal life, yet you wonder how your car insurance will be affected moving forward. After all, you cannot drive in South Carolina without a minimum liability insurance coverage.
South Carolina law has a specific process for getting a driver’s license reinstated and also dictates what your car insurance company will require from you after being charged with a DUI.
Starting Over
Now that you have a DUI on your record, you’ll need to call your car insurance company to discuss the future of your policy. In order to get your license back from the DMV, you’ll need to submit a form called the SR-22 (aka a Certificate of Financial Responsibility). This form can only be issued by your insurance company and serves as evidence for the DMV that you are maintaining your liability coverage. Only then can your license get reinstated.
While an SR-22 itself isn’t very expensive (about $20 or so*), it has a huge impact on your car insurance rates. Insurance companies view individuals with an SR-22 as higher risk individuals, which is reflected in the premiums they charge you.
*Please check the South Carolina DMV website for the most updated figures.
What The Numbers Look Like
Each situation will vary dramatically, based on the circumstances of your DUI, how old you are, and even what kind of car you drive. It’s safe to say, though, that individuals in South Carolina should expect their car insurance rates to go up dramatically. In some instances, people’s car insurance becomes so expensive that they cannot continue to afford having a vehicle.
The financial ramifications of a DUI extend far beyond the initial incident, as South Carolina requires you to have the SR-22 for five years after your DUI conviction. People think that they only have to pay a one time set of fees following a DUI, when in reality the financial drain extends for years afterwards.
Consequences Everywhere
If you’ve been charged with a DUI outside of the state, in most cases your car insurance company will match the same types of rates as if you had been charged in South Carolina. Essentially the penalties as it relates to your coverage will be the same or similar no matter where you are.
Have you been convicted of a DUI and are concerned about how to handle it? The Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team handles many DUI defense cases in South Carolina and would be happy to help you through this stressful time. Give our offices a call today for more information.

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