Every day, people's lives in Texas become impacted by others driving while under the influence of alcohol. One drunk driver recently plead guilty to charges after striking a police officer's vehicle while intoxicated.
You need to start building a valid legal defense as soon as the police arrest you for suspicion of DUI. Even for a first offense, you will look at possible jail time and fines. There are also long-term consequences, such as having to pay higher rates on your auto insurance. Many people do not think about it at the time, but you should do everything possible to avoid a conviction, or else you will pay for it for years to come.
How much will your rates increase by?
Everyone's case is different. However, you can expect to see your annual insurance rates increase by as much as $600. That is a substantial increase, and many people do not have the extra funds to make those payments. After a DUI, people should seriously consider switching insurance companies because some providers may not charge as much even if you have a DUI on your record. The Texas Farm Bureau and USAA tend to have the lowest rates in the state.
What happens to your license suspension?
After a DUI arrest, start working with the state's DMV to see if the department will suspend your license. You also need to start filing paperwork to get an SR-22. This documentation is available to anyone with offenses on her or his driving record. An SR-22 helps reinstate your driver's license, and it proves you have insurance on your vehicle that will cover you in the event of any other traffic violations. If you do not qualify for such documentation, you can still submit paperwork to receive a restricted license. It will let you drive to work and other cleared events. However, you need to start on the paperwork as soon as possible to see if you qualify.