Have you ever had a few drinks on a night out, thinking that they'll have worn off by the time you hit the wheel? While this puts you and others in serious danger, you also run the risk of seeing those flashing red and blue lights behind you. The following months or even years could be spent wishing that you'd just gotten a taxi. Instead of simply hoping that this never happens, it's important to understand the severity of driving under the influence (DUI) and to be aware of the proper steps to take afterwards. One of the most important of these is acquiring SR 22 insurance.
SR22 insurance is your best friend if you've committed driving violations or had your license revoked. This document, although not actual insurance in itself, conveys to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you're financially liable and have met the correct insurance demands in order to eventually reinstate your driving privileges.
Requirements | Although they vary from state to state, in California, if you're guilting of driving under the influence, you'll be required to attend programs such as DUI schooling; this is alongside any other penalties, including driver's license suspensions and losing your driving privilege that can last up to four years. In order to ease these consequences and get back on the road, filing for California SR22 coverage is an important first step. An SR22 insurance policy is often pricier than regular car insurance, due to the severity of the violation-almost triple the price, in fact. This is because you're considered a "high-risk" driver due to being a DUI offender. (1) (2)
Steps to acquiring an SR22
Contact your auto insurance company, who will decide whether or not you're eligible.
If you are eligible, your car insurance company fees will increase due to the nature of the incident.
Once successful, you are required to keep your SR22 status for at least three years.
If you are not eligible, you'll have to seek SR22 insurance elsewhere and attempt to find the cheapest deal.
In order to eventually reinstate your driver's license, you must acquire a new SR22 as soon as possible. (3)
The California DMV states that if you are to complete a SR22 filing, any other cars you own must fall under the correct regulations. If this DUI arrest is your first, you can receive a 30-day short-term license. After this ends, you'll need to apply for the use of an ignition interlock device (IID), which calculates how much alcohol you've consumed. After the grueling process you've been through, hopefully the gadget will consistently read 0%. SR 22 car insurance is compulsory to acquire this device in California. While your privileges are suspended, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted driver's license for basic, essential duties such as medical appointments. This license will cost approximately USD$125. (1) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Depending on your circumstances, DUI schooling can cost from USD$200 to USD$3000. The length of these courses varies depending on the DUI conviction. Some may take 12 hours, while others can range from 18 to 30 months. DUI schooling consists of lectures, interviews, counselling sessions and more. As you might face certain challenges socially due to the DUI, you should take full advantage of these interactions, and make the best of your experiences with people undergoing a similar process. It's important to gain as much control over the situation as possible; what you've done before matters, but not nearly as much as what you do next. It goes without saying that if you're under the influence during the sessions or fail to complete the course, you'll face further legal repercussions. (6) (7)
If you're feeling a little tipsy or you're not sure what you just smoked, don't get behind the wheel; when you're arrested for a DUI in California, your driving privileges are immediately revoked. In order to regain some sort of driving normality, you must undergo a series of important steps, one of which is a SR22 requirement. This may seem simple, but it requires your attendance of core DUI programs, and it could take years for your SR22 status to be removed. Applying for temporary licenses, acquiring an IID and ensuring that you make no other offenses are just a few of the terms you must respect following a DUI claim in California.
1. “SR22 Insurance”, Source: SR22 Insurance Laws and Penalties in Orange County | Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer (ocduidefenselawyers.com)
2. “SR-22 Insurance in California: What is it? How Much Does it Cost?”, Source: SR-22 Insurance in California: What is It? How Much Does it Cost? - ValuePenguin
3. “SR22 Requirements Following a California DUI Conviction”, Source: SR22 Requirements After A California DUI (shouselaw.com)
4. “California SR22 Insurance”, Source: California SR22 Insurance
5. “SR-22 Requirements for California”, Source: SR-22 Requirements for California - Eric Johnson Insurance - SR22 Insurance Experts
6. “How to Obtain a Restricted License in California after Being Charged with a DUI”, Source: How to Obtain a Restricted License in California after DUI Charge (wklawdui.com)
7. "California DUI School: Frequently Asked Questions”, Source: California DUI School (How It Works) (shouselaw.com)
8. "Driving-Under-The-Influence Programs”, Source: DUI Programs (ca.gov)