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Insurance price hike after DUI/DWI can be crippling

A recent study found that one of the 10 worst places to drive is Knoxville, which is near the North Carolina-Tennessee border. While the study found that the city nearly averaged 1,200 arrests per year for drunk driving, that's not the important element we're taking away from this story -- though it should be noted that Knoxville officials dispute the numbers associated with their city.

Instead, the key part of this study that we found interesting is the fact that people in Knoxville who were convicted of a DUI or DWI saw their insurance rates jump up dramatically. On average, their premiums increased by 50 percent.

One of the major punishments inflicted on someone who is arrested and convicted of a drunk driving charge has nothing to do with potential jail time. It's the financial side of the charge that often cripples a drunk driving suspect. There are court costs, fines, fees to reinstate your license, and numerous other costs associated with such a charge -- and this is all before your insurance even catches wind of the drunk driving charge.

The increase to your insurance can dramatically affect your ability to deal with other financial situations in your life. A DUI or DWI charge can truly limit a person's ability to live his or her life normally for many years, even after all the legal punishments are completed or gone.

All of this only highlights what you already know: that DUI charges are very serious and that anyone accused of one needs to vigorously defend their case to limit the damage caused by such a charge, or even get it dismissed if the circumstances warrant it.

Source: WBIR, "KPD disputes Knoxville's place in national DUI study," Aaron Wright, July 21, 2014

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