The rules and guidelines surrounding auto insurance vary depending on where you live. Every state handles liability coverage and SR22 insurance differently. However, if you’re facing a DUI charge or other major traffic violation, you need to know exactly how SR22 insurance works in your state. Some states, such as Delaware, don’t require SR22 insurance after these types of incidents. However, that doesn’t mean you can drop your SR22 from another state if you move to Delaware. It’s important to know how these requirements and guidelines work so that you can reinstate your license and get back to life on the road as efficiently as possible. To help you learn more about these rules, read our guide to what to know about SR22 insurance in Delaware. (more…)

Everyone knows how important it is to stay safe and responsible while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, you can’t control every detail and circumstance that occurs when you’re on the road. Your fellow drivers, construction zones, and other factors all affect your daily commute and you don’t get a say about it. This lack of control—and the stress or hassle that can stem from it—often leads to anger and frustration. Road rage is unfortunately common in drivers of all ages and experience levels. Even someone who is normally a calm and responsible driver can catch themselves honking impatiently or yelling at other cars on occasion. Road rage can escalate quickly and turn into severe financial and legal consequences. As such, it’s important to understand the signs of road rage as well as how you can avoid it. To help you stay safe behind the wheel, here are our tips for identifying and avoiding road rage. (more…)

Addictive substances have a way of taking over someone’s life. Chronic or repeated use of drugs or alcohol can create short-term and long-term negative effects on the body and mind. These substances can damage the organs and alter the brain, leading to mental health disorders, organ damage or failure, and other health complications. It’s not just the addicted individual who suffers either. Friends and family members all experience the consequences of drug or alcohol addiction. As with many problems, knowledge and information can make it easier to identify and confront the issues surrounding addiction. To help you learn more, here is our overview of the psychological and physical effects of addiction.

Psychological Effects of Addiction

Addiction often works in a cycle. The addictive substance creates a pleasant effect or provides relief for an unpleasant feeling, such as discomfort or anxiety. As a result, the mind starts craving the addictive substance. Meanwhile, the body might start to build a tolerance to the drugs or alcohol until you require a larger dose to feel the same pleasurable effects. All of this can add up to an individual feeling like they need drugs or alcohol to function in their everyday life. Because of this, addiction and other mental health disorders often go hand in hand. Individuals who suffer from addiction are more likely to develop mood or anxiety disorders. At the same time, mental health issues often cause individuals to seek unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol.

Depression

One of the most common psychological effects of addiction is depression. Once again, it’s often unclear whether depression stems from addiction or vice versa. Many individuals use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate symptoms of depression. However, the pleasurable effects of these substances don’t last forever and can worsen these symptoms when the individual is sober. Drug and alcohol use also often leads to withdrawal symptoms that can make depression worse. Depression and addiction feed into each other, making their respective symptoms worse. This makes it even harder for victims to identify the issue and work toward recovery.

Anxiety

Anxiety and other panic disorders also intertwine with drug and alcohol addiction. In some cases, individuals begin to rely on drugs or alcohol as a way to relax. Like depression, anxiety can cause a cycle of abuse and dependency. Alternatively, an individual might form an addiction to a stimulant, such as cocaine, that causes anxiety as a side effect. Anxiety can also occur as a withdrawal symptom for many substances, making recovery even more difficult.

Paranoia

There are some substances, like marijuana or cocaine, that can cause feelings of paranoia when you use them. These side effects often worsen over time with continued use. Additionally, because paranoia isn’t as common as depression or anxiety, individuals may feel the need to hide these symptoms. Many addictive substances are illegal, which also adds to the feelings of fear or secrecy. As individuals dread someone catching them or getting in trouble because of their substance abuse, the feelings of paranoia increase, worsening the entire situation.

Other Psychological Effects

There are many other psychological symptoms of addiction that can stem from a number of different mental health issues. Individuals who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction can experience heightened aggression, memory issues or periods of confusion, hallucinations, or dramatic mood swings. Additionally, substance abuse and addiction can result in a decreased sense of self-preservation. This can also stem from mood disorders such as depression. These feelings might lead to partaking in more dangerous habits on top of substance use. While all these behaviors are symptoms of various issues, they present major complications by themselves and can make it even harder for victims to seek help and recovery.

Physical Effects of Addiction

While many of the primary effects of addiction occur in the brain, the rest of the body can suffer as well. Substance abuse weakens the immune system and leaves the body more vulnerable to various diseases and infections. Drug use—especially through needles—increases an individual’s chance of contracting HIV, hepatitis, or other infectious diseases. Other physical effects of addiction include abdominal pain, digestive issues, trouble sleeping, or even seizures and other forms of brain damage. Addictive substances can impact every part of the body even beyond the following common issues.

Kidney Damage

Drugs can harm the kidneys both directly and indirectly. Many symptoms of drug use—such as dehydration, muscle breakdown, and increased body temperature—can contribute to kidney damage. This damage worsens as these symptoms persist over time. Unfortunately, it is relatively common for long-term drug users to experience kidney failure or other forms of kidney damage. The same is true for individuals who regularly consume a large amount of alcohol. Heavy drinking increases an individual’s risk of chronic kidney disease.

Liver Failure

Liver damage is a well-known consequence of heavy drinking. However, both alcohol and drug addiction can lead to serious complications and even liver failure. The liver is responsible for clearing toxins from the bloodstream. When an individual partakes in the use of drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, they force their liver to work overtime. This eventually causes severe liver damage in the form of chronic inflammation, scarring, tissue damage, or cancer. Because the liver is a vital part of routine body functions, this liver damage can cause several other health problems over time.

Heart Problems

Most drugs and alcohol present a threat to your cardiovascular health. Heart problems stemming from substance addiction range from an increased heart rate or abnormal blood pressure to a heart attack. Drugs and alcohol serve to weaken your heart over time, increasing your risk levels even more with long-term use. Additionally, drug users who utilize injections face an increased risk of collapsed veins or bacterial infections in the bloodstream.

Just as the psychological and physical effects of addiction reach every bodily function, the consequences of addiction stretch far beyond the user. Individuals who suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction are also likely to face problems with their finances, careers, relationship, or even criminal records. At Serenity Group, we know that addiction isn’t easy for anyone. If your addiction results in a DUI charge and SR22 insurance requirement, we’re here to help. We’ll find the best SR22 insurance quotes in California, Colorado, or wherever your charge exists. Let us take care of your insurance so you can focus on getting back on the road and on your way to recovery.

effects of addiction infographic

Buying a new car is a big deal. Whether you’re looking for more space, better mileage, or a sleek new style, you can’t wait to sign the papers and take your new ride home. Unfortunately, the process isn’t always as simple as walking in and making the deal. If you have a suspended driver’s license, you might be wondering if you should—or are even able to—buy the car you want. When it comes to your license, driving record, and auto insurance, you have to gather as much information as possible. To help you through this process, here’s our guide on buying a car with a suspended license.

Can You Buy a Car with a Suspended License?

Technically speaking, no law prevents someone from buying a vehicle without a valid license. Dealerships and other sellers can take your money and give you the title without any issue. However, the problems arise once the car is in your name. With a suspended license, how do you get the car off the lot and back to your own driveway? How do you insure the vehicle when most policies require a valid license? Buying a car with a suspended license is possible, but it’s not necessarily plausible due to these and other complications.

Alternative Options

You might find a way to navigate these details and successfully purchase and register your vehicle without a valid license, but a few alternative options will likely work better. You could have a spouse or other close relative purchase and register the vehicle in their name and then sell it to you once you get your license back. If you know the original owner, you can ask them to keep the car in their name and then purchase nonowner’s insurance to let you drive after your suspension. However, your best option may be to simply wait to make the purchase and focus your efforts on reinstating your license. This will make buying, insuring, and registering your vehicle a much smoother process.

If you have a suspended license, it’s important that you take all the right steps to reinstate it and return to the road. If you lost your license because of a DUI or other major traffic violation and need SR22 insurance to reinstate it, Serenity Group wants to help. We’ve got the resources you need to understand SR22 insurance in California or any other state in which you may reside. When you take initiative and meet all the requirements, you can earn back your driving privileges, buy that dream car, and return to a normal life behind the wheel.

Car accidents—even minor ones—can cost a lot of money, time, and energy. If your car, home, or other property suffers damage after an accident, you’ll want to make sure you receive your fair payments with as little stress and hassle as possible. It’s important to know how the claims process works with your auto insurance company. Stay informed, stay calm, and make the most of the situation with this guide on how to file property damage claims after a car accident.

Collect Information

The first step after any car accident—after ensuring that all parties are safe—is to collect information from the scene. Get the contact and insurance information from the other driver as well as any vehicle information. It’s also a good idea to take pictures or videos of the scene. Try to get multiple angles of all vehicles and property involved so you can submit a clear picture of the incident to your insurance company. Be as detailed and thorough as possible when collecting this information, as this will help you justify your claim and make the entire process easier.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Many insurance companies require you to notify them of any accident as quickly as possible. If you don’t report the incident to your insurance provider, you can lose the coverages and protections that would normally get you through the claims process. Additionally, notifying your insurance company right away ensures your right to file a claim down the road. No matter how you proceed after your accident, it’s important to involve your insurance company.

File Your Claim

When it comes to how to file property damage claims after a car accident, you have a couple of options. You can file with your own insurance company and have them seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance provider. This will likely be the fastest way to settle your claim and receive your payments, but you might have to pay out-of-pocket for your deductible. Alternatively, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. These claims usually take longer to settle, but you won’t have to pay a deductible.

At Serenity Group, we understand that not all accidents are avoidable. If you find yourself in an at-fault car accident, you might be facing SR22 insurance requirements as well as property damage claims. We can help you sort through the details and find an insurance policy that works for you. If you need SR22 insurance in California or anywhere else in the United States, we’ll help you work through your accident and get back on the road as efficiently as possible.

 

If you’re facing a DUI charge or other traffic violation, your state may either suspend or revoke your license. While both penalties serve to keep you off the road, they aren’t exactly the same. Each sentence involves different requirements, time periods, and processes. It’s important to know the difference between a suspended and a revoked license so you can navigate the required steps to reinstate your license. Learn more about your situation and how you can get back on the road with this overview. (more…)

Drivers should be alert and sober every time they get behind the wheel. Likewise, when you jump on your bike, you need to be completely in control of yourself and your body. Even on a bike, you share the road with drivers and pedestrians, which means (more…)

SR22 insurance, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility, is a way for states to ensure that high-risk drivers meet the minimum liability requirements on their auto insurance. After getting a DUI or other serious traffic violation, you might need SR22 insurance to reinstate your license and get back behind the wheel. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to avoid facing these consequences in the first place. To help you stay safe on the road and in the eyes of your state, here’s how to avoid the need for SR22 insurance. (more…)

Your wedding day brings a lot of changes to your life, and your car insurance policy is no exception. Your marital status can affect how much you and your spouse are paying for car insurance. It’s important to look into the different options that are available so that you can both save as much money as possible. Make sure your auto insurance is working for you as you step into this new stage of life together with our guide to car insurance for married couples.

Reasons to Combine Policies

Most of the time, having a joint policy with your spouse can save you money. Most insurance companies view a married couple as more mature drivers who share driving responsibilities. In other words, insurance providers believe a married couple is less likely to cause an accident or get into other expensive incidents. This makes you less of a risk and, therefore, cheaper to insure. A joint policy can also lead to discounts like a multi-car discount. All of this adds up to a cheaper premium for both you and your spouse.

Reasons to Keep Separate Policies

Of course, every car insurance policy is different. Sometimes, you or your spouse might actually pay more on a joint policy than you would separately. There are a few reasons why this might happen. If one of you has a poor driving record or low credit score, auto insurance providers will still view you as a high-risk individual to insure. For example, say your spouse has multiple traffic violations on their record. If you combine policies, their premium might improve, but yours will likely cost more. The type of vehicle you each drive can also affect your policies. If one of you drives a vehicle of a much greater value, that can significantly raise your rates.

Other Ways to Save

If you and your spouse plan on sharing vehicles, you will probably need to get a joint auto insurance policy—even if it’s more expensive. Fortunately, there are several ways to save on your new policy. Pay attention to your vehicles’ values and make sure you’re not paying more than that to insure them. Seek out discounts for your policy, including multi-car discounts or bundling your auto and home insurance.

It’s also extremely important to shop around and get quotes before you decide on a policy. Even if you have complications in your credit history or driving record, you can still find the most affordable option for you and your spouse. If one of you needs SR22 insurance on your policy, you can explore your options with Serenity Group. We’ll help you figure out your SR22 online, so you can create a joint or separate policy that works for you both. When it comes to car insurance for married couples, it’s important to look carefully at all of your options, so you can find the best fit for your new life together.

A lot of laws surround DUIs, DWIs, and other alcohol-related traffic violations. As with many legal matters, the rules and consequences can vary greatly depending on where you live. However, several general rules still hold true no matter where you are or what circumstances you find yourself in. Knowledge is power when it comes to DUI charges and convictions—the more you know, the better you can navigate your way through the situation as you work to return to normal life. It’s important to brush up on your state’s individual laws and procedures, but before you do that, learn more about the different types of DUI charges you might face with this guide.

Driving Under the Influence

A DUI—or driving under the influence—is one of the main types of drunk driving charges. Every single state has a driving under the influence law or some variation, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or operating under the influence (OUI). These laws refer to the act of driving or operating a vehicle when one is impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you’re caught driving under the influence, it doesn’t matter what your blood alcohol content is or whether or not the intoxicating substance is legal. As long as you were in control of a vehicle and your driving ability was noticeably impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both, you can receive a driving under the influence charge. It’s important to remember that this offense covers a wide range of vehicles, not just cars. It also extends to drunk biking, motorcycling, boating, and more. The specifics regarding these vehicles vary from state to state—for example, some states define bicycles as vehicles, while other don’t—but it’s still important to take these violations seriously.

Because this type of DUI charge relies on a person (such as a law enforcement officer) perceiving someone else’s intoxicated state, the circumstances around it can vary widely. Everyone handles intoxication differently. Someone who is still under the legal blood alcohol content level might still suffer from impaired judgement and reaction times. On the other hand, another individual might be over the legal limit but still appear to be sober. Therefore, police officers or prosecutors often must make judgment calls about a driver’s impairment. This also means it’s possible to argue that you were not driving under the influence, even if your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.

Driving with a BAC Above the Legal Limit

Another way to determine whether someone is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is through their blood alcohol content. If an officer pulls you over for drunk driving, they’ll likely perform a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content level. Every single state considers a driver intoxicated if their blood alcohol content level is .08% or higher. Many states consider this to be a more significant deciding factor than a driver’s level of impairment. This means that even if someone was driving safely and responsibly, they can still receive a DUI charge because of their blood alcohol content. Juries can usually find someone guilty for either driving under the influence or driving with an illegal blood alcohol content level. Most states hold the same consequences for each verdict.

Exceptions to the .08% Limit

All states consider someone with a blood alcohol content level of .08% or higher legally intoxicated, but you can still receive a DUI charge while under that limit. Some states have lower, stricter limits for younger or less experienced drivers—particularly in the case of minors who can’t legally consume alcohol. Commercial drivers also face higher standards when it comes to driving under the influence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends a blood alcohol content limit of .04% or higher, and most states adhere to that for commercial drivers. The FMCSA also mandates that drivers do not operate commercial vehicles within four hours of consuming any amount of alcohol.

Different Levels of Offense

All the different types of DUI charges come with severe repercussions. However, the consequences of a DUI charge will vary depending on your state laws, past driving record, and additional damage done or laws broken. Every state handles these details differently, but you can learn and keep in mind a few general rules.

First Offense

Most DUI charges are a first offense, and the consequences for a first offense are often less severe. For example, first-offense DUIs are often only misdemeanors. This could lead to jail time, fines, alcohol education programs, and other penalties. However, because they’re often misdemeanors, first offenses are less likely to lead to losing certain rights, such as voting, serving on a jury, or pursuing certain careers. Despite this, it’s important to remember that even a first-offense DUI has significant effects on your life and will remain on your driver’s record for years to come.

Second Offense

If you face a second DUI charge within a certain number of years, the consequences will be more severe than they were for your first offense. Once again, the specifics depend on your state’s laws and the circumstances surrounding the event. However, you can expect to see higher fines, longer jail time, and other increased penalties. You’ll also likely find yourself up against harsher standards than the first time you received a DUI. For example, your blood alcohol content level might play a larger role in deciding your sentence this time around.

Felony DUI

Most DUI cases are misdemeanors, but it’s possible for them to escalate to felonies. Every state has its own rules regarding this, but a few reasons why it might happen include:

  • If it’s a driver’s third (or higher) offense
  • If the driver’s blood alcohol content level is .16% or higher
  • If the driver causes injury or death to another person
  • If there are children in the vehicle
  • If the driver has a restricted or invalid license

Felony DUIs have much more severe consequences than misdemeanors. Once again, the details about what is and is not considered a felony depend on your state. It’s important to read up on state and federal laws regarding driving under the influence. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to address the problem and work your way through it.

No matter what kind of DUI charge you receive, you don’t have to face the consequences alone. If you need to obtain SR22 insurance after a DUI charge, Serenity Group has your back. We’ll help you find the best quotes for SR22 insurance in California, Colorado, or any other state you live in. When you find the best SR22 insurance policy for your situation, you can focus your energy on working through your other penalties and returning to normal life as quickly as possible.

Types of DUI Charges

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