The attorneys at SQ Attorneys are frequently asked, ‘how will a Seattle DUI charge affect vehicle insurance?’. Well that is a very good question and one that deserves a thoughtful answer. So here it goes … three years of SR-22 is an absolute requirement that the Department of Licensing (DOL) imposes upon Washington State drivers who: (1) are convicted of DUI; or (2) are convicted of Reckless Driving; or (3) suffer a DOL suspension/revocation for providing an Alcohol/Marijuana breath/blood sample equal to or above the legal limit and/or refusing to provide a breath/blood sample. In light of this, avoiding SR-22 insurance is rarely easy when cited for DUI.
Some of the more frequently asked questions and answers SQ Attorneys gets/ gives about SR-22 are below:
What exactly is SR-22? SR-22 is proof of liability insurance; it isn’t a type of insurance. SR-22 is a form which must be filed by the insurance company with the state of Washington stating that auto liability insurance is in effect for a particular individual.
Does my current insurance company provide SR-22? Maybe, and maybe not. Shopping for the best rate is always the best policy. Usually, insurance companies that offer SR-22 will ask who a driver is presently insured with, and then advise as to the best, most affordable option for obtaining SR-22.
Will a 2nd party SR-22 provider inform my insurance company? No.
Do I have to carry proof of SR-22 in the car with me? No. The SR-22 agency merely provides proof to the state of Washington; nothing about SR-22 needs to be kept inside one’s vehicle.
What if my current carrier finds out I have SR-22 through another provider? The insurer will generally either drop you or raise your rate considerably. You then work with the SR-22 provider to get sufficient coverage.
Will my SR-22 insurance stop when the 3 years has run? Unfortunately, No. The policy will continue until you tell the company in writing to stop the policy.
If you (or a loved one) have been arrested and cited for DUI in Washington State you should immediately seek the assistance of a Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI attorney, among other things, can quite possibly save you thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, extent of loss of privilege to drive and amount of jail time to be served. Washington traffic laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart … hire a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or a drug related DUI in Washington State.