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.
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.
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.
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.
Until you need it, SR22 insurance is just another piece of insurance jargon. It’s a small note on your auto insurance application that doesn’t apply to you, so you don’t pay attention to it. Unfortunately, this lack of attention leads to a lot of misunderstandings about what SR22 is and how it works. If you need SR22 insurance after a DUI or another reckless driving charge, it’s important to find accurate, reliable information about your requirements. As you go through the process, keep an eye out for these three misconceptions about SR22 insurance.
Even the best drivers make mistakes. Traffic violations are a relatively common part of life, and most of us receive a ticket at some point or another. Depending on where you live and what happened, these infractions can be anything from a minor inconvenience to a major disruption of your daily routine. Even if you pay the fine and return to your regular life on the road, that violation might come back to haunt you when you get your next auto insurance bill. Car insurance companies use your driving record to determine how high-risk you are as a driver. When you commit a traffic violation—even a minor one—your insurance provider will consider you to be a higher-risk driver and therefore more likely to cost them money. As such, how you act on the road plays a big role in how insurance companies determine your rates. Find out more about the impact traffic violations have on your car insurance with this guide so you can better prepare yourself and your finances if something does happen. (more…)
Many people rely on their ability to drive to get through the day. A valid license lets you commute to work or school, pick up your kids, travel to appointments, and more. As such, losing your driving privileges might be more than just an inconvenience—it can cost you your job, grades, and other vital aspects of your life. This is where a restricted license comes in. If you lose your license due to a DUI or other serious traffic offense, you might be able to obtain a restricted license instead. Find out what that means and how it can help you with our guide to how a restricted license works.
Accidents happen. Car crashes are a fairly common experience for drivers, and most of them only involve property damage without any injuries. Yet no matter how common or minor these accidents may be, it’s still easy to feel shaken, adrenalized, or otherwise distracted if you get into a wreck on the road. Despite these feelings, it’s important to stay calm after an accident so you can do everything you need to take care of yourself, your passengers, and your auto insurance. Make the most of a bad situation by following this guide on what you should do after a car accident. (more…)
After a DUI, accident, or other major traffic violation, reobtaining your driver’s license and getting your life back to normal can be hard. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Once you learn more about your state’s requirements, you can take the necessary steps to meet them. One of these steps, of course, is meeting your state’s SR22 insurance requirements. If you’re wondering how SR22 insurance works in Connecticut, read our guide to the rules and requirements and what you can do to return to normal life. (more…)
Accidents are an unfortunately common part of driving. Most drivers will be in an accident during their time on the road, and many experience multiple crashes throughout their lives. Fortunately, many of these accidents are relatively minor: backing into obstacles, sliding into a ditch, or other incidents that cause minor damage and few, if any, injuries. However, to say car crashes can come with severe consequences would be an understatement. A larger accident brings all kinds of negative impacts to you and your life—and that’s certainly true if you caused it. Here are some of the consequences of causing a car crash you might face. (more…)