Arrested for Drunk Driving?
DWI / DUI
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Texas DWI laws
are both political
Know Your Rights!
How to avoid 10 of the biggest mistakes most people make after being arrested for Drunk Driving.
DWI / DUI
Mistakes the police make . . . and how they can help you.
What Happens Next After A DWI Arrest?
There are usually both Motor Vehicle & Court Proceedings required when a DWI or Drunk Driving citation has been issued.
A Summary of Texas Administrative License Suspension Laws DWI and "Administrative License Revocation" in the State of Texas
for your Texas
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Information On DWI In Texas?
DWI Conviction Rate Procedures
A DWI Can
& Travel Plans
Out Of Control
How A DWI
DWI & Drugs
Five Myths about Defending Accused Drunk
How a DWI Conviction
Affects Your Insurance
Many insurance companies check
your motor vehicle record only once every three years or
when you're applying for a new policy. Sometimes,
accidents, tickets, and drunk-driving convictions can
escape your insurer's attention or don't end up on your
motor vehicle record. However, if your insurer does find
out about a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction,
you're likely to feel the pinch of higher rates and
possibly policy cancellation or non-renewal.
There are two ways insurance companies generally deal with
customers convicted of DWI. First, your insurer will
likely raise your insurance premiums and label you a
high-risk driver if it finds out you've been convicted of
DWI. In this case, you'll likely have to file proof of
insurance for three ' sometimes five ' years with your
state's department of motor vehicles. Your insurance
company will have to provide the DMV with an SR-22 form,
which removes your license suspension by providing the
state with proof of insurance. An SR-22 also means your
insurance company is required to notify the DMV if it
cancels your insurance for any reason.
Your auto insurer
will likely raise your premiums, and it might cancel your
policy if you've been convicted of DUI.
Most state laws require DWI
convicts to get an SR-22 from their insurers, so you can't
hide. In addition, your company may cancel your insurance
mid-term or terminate the policy at the end of the term
because of your DWI conviction, especially if you are
currently in a preferred class. Your company will send you
a notice stating why you've been canceled, and then you'll
have to find another insurer while having a cancellation
on your claims history.
Some insurance companies don't offer SR-22 policies, so
you may also be nonrenewed or canceled because your
company can no longer provide what you need.
Certain states don't allow insurance companies to drop you
in the middle of the policy term even for a DWI, so make
sure you know the laws in your state.
Insurers can miss DWI convictions
It's possible that your insurance company will never find
out about your conviction if you don't have to get an
SR-22. A June 2002 study by the Insurance Research Council
revealed that as many as one-quarter of driving
convictions never end up on motor vehicle records, due to
lack of shared information between courts and motor
vehicle departments or because a conviction has been
erased through alternative means, such as driving school.
If you get your charge reduced in a plea bargain, or have
a limited license suspension, such as 30 days, it's also
very unlikely your insurer will find out about your
In most states, an
insurance company has three years after a DUI to cancel
you or raise your rates.
If your insurance company
misses the conviction at the time it happens, it has three
years, according to most state laws, to cancel your policy
or raise your rates because of the DWI.
Rates don't always go up
You may be surprised to know that when your insurer does
find out about a DWI conviction it doesn't automatically
impose higher premiums. The insurer will look at your
history with the company and your claims record, and your
fate is in its hands.
For example, State Farm's action depends on which
subsidiary you're with. If you have a preferred policy
with State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. and receive a DWI,
State Farm may move you into State Farm Fire & Casualty,
which is the standard-policy company. If you're moved from
preferred to a standard status, you'll be paying higher
rates already. State Farm will also review your motor
vehicle and insurance claims history to determine if it
needs to raise your rates further.
DWI Criminal Defense Trial Attorney
812 San Antonio St., Suite 100
Austin, TX 78701