Washington police make it extremely clear that people need to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Throughout the summer, police conducted a “Plan Before You Party” campaign, in which officers told people to arrive home safe without putting anything dangerous in their bodies.

Numerous consequences exist for a first-time DUI charge. You could end up having to pay hefty fines, and you may even spend some time in jail. One consequence people may not think about is their insurance rates. A DUI conviction can make its way back to your insurance agency, and you could end up paying for that mistake for years to come.

How much can insurance increase?

Every case is different, so it is difficult to come up with an exact figure. Your insurance company will take into account various factors, such as your age, past driving history and what kind of vehicle you drive. Your insurance agency will also look at the specifics surrounding your DUI case, such as whether you caused any property damage. When everything is over, you could end up paying twice as much for the same insurance.

How long does it affect your insurance?

Most insurance companies will consider your DUI for between three and five years after your arrest. To qualify for a normal policy once again, you will need to maintain a clean driving record during that entire period. However, a DUI will stay on your record for a long time unless you can expunge it, so it can also affect other aspects of your life, such as potential employment and renting properties.

Can you fight these increases?

You may fight these charges, which entails collecting evidence to prove your innocence and completing of all of your court requirements. If you can show the police made mistakes, then you stand a better change of keeping your insurance rates where they are.