Slipping behind the wheel for a short drive home after a few social drinks with friends can lead to an arrest for driving under the influence. From the initial charges to the potential conviction, everything about your ability to drive may change.

Not only can a conviction for DUI lead to fines, jail time or a license suspension, but you may also experience a drastic change in your insurance premiums and coverage eligibility.

Change in risk

When you purchase or renew an insurance policy, the insurance company evaluates both your criminal record and driving record. Based on your prior activities, the insurer looks at the possible risk you present for getting into an accident. Drunk driving significantly increases the probability of a collision, raising the level of risk that the insurer assumes by issuing you a policy.

Change in cost

A DUI conviction typically leads to a premium rate increase. It can also mean the discontinuation of any safe driving discounts you have earned. In some cases, an insurance provider will refuse coverage, leading you to find an alternative provider at a more expensive rate given your high-risk categorization.

The risk you took to have a good time out with your friends could end up costing thousands after a DUI arrest. Following a conviction, you might see your insurance rates increase by the national average of 74%. Since the charge stays on your record for anywhere from three to five years, your one decision to drive impaired may impact your insurance coverage for years to come.