It can be bumpy ride back to “normal” after a DUI/DWI, but it’s not an impossible journey and it’s not one you have travel on your own. At Direct Auto & Life Insurance, we’re here to help you get back on your feet and back in the driver’s seat. Check out these practical tips for recovering from a DUI/DWI and learn how we can help with a key piece when it comes to auto insurance—the SR22 or FR44.
Step 1: Contact an attorney.
If you’ve been cited for a DUI, contact an attorney. Your local Bar Association can help put you in touch with a lawyer who specializes in DUIs. They may also be able to refer you to lawyers who will represent you free of charge if you are unable to afford it. Because the consequences of a DUI/DWI are serious and can be costly, it’s often a worthwhile investment to get an attorney. In general, DUI charges are at least misdemeanors that can result in jail time and fines. An attorney can help you understand your specific situation and navigate the legal system in your state.
Step 2: Contact your insurance company.
Contact your auto insurance company if your DUI involved an accident. Be prepared, as the insurance company may raise your rates, cancel, or not renew your policy. It depends on the state you live in. And remember, even if you lose your license you’re still likely required to keep insurance on your car in order to maintain your vehicle registration.
Step 3: Follow court orders.
Throughout the process be sure to show up for your court dates and comply with court orders regarding any sentence that’s administered. This will help you avoid any further legal trouble.
On top of DUI fines, another result of a DUI conviction or plea is the suspension of your driver’s license. In order to comply with court orders, you’ll want to make plans for alternative transportation for you and your family.
When your suspension period is up, you will probably be required to show proof of financial responsibility with an SR22 or an FR44. This document essentially says that you have met your state’s car insurance requirements, and it may be something we can help you with at Direct Auto & Life Insurance.
Step 4: Consider your budget.
DUI/DWI fines can range from thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on your state and a number of other factors. Beyond the initial fines, the cost of driving after a DUI/DWI can go up, too.
During this time, you may find it tough to stay in control of your budget. You can make your auto insurance feel more affordable by working with your insurance company to customize your payments.* Cut back on other car-related expenses by getting free car repairs and services after your license is reinstated, keep the kids full by going to restaurants where kids eat free, and earn extra money to help bridge any gaps in your budget.
Step 5: Take care of Y-O-U!
Some costs can’t be measured in dollars and cents. Tune into your mindset. When the time comes to start driving again, you might feel uneasy about getting behind the wheel.
If you’re overcome by emotions in the car, DMV.org suggests that you “notice them, and try to acknowledge the specific effects they’re having on your physical and mental state.”
Recognize if you are affected by these emotions and if they compromise your ability to drive. Serious anxiety about driving should be addressed by a licensed professional—don’t get behind the wheel before you’re ready.
Step 6: Prep your vehicle.
Once your driver’s license has been restored and your auto insurance requirements met, make sure your car is in proper working condition. It may not have been driven for a while and could need an oil change, battery test, or tire pressure check and inflation. You may also need to pass an emissions test.
Step 7: Reach out for help.
A DUI doesn’t have to ruin your life. At Direct Auto & Life, we welcome everyone to apply for coverage. Our friendly agents will help you get an SR22 or FR44, determine the best policy for your needs, find all the discounts** you’re entitled to, and provide you with the great services and respect you deserve—even if you have a less than perfect driving record. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) or visit a Direct Auto & Life location near you for SR22/FR44 help or answers to any questions you may have about getting insured after a DUI/DWI.
*Not all pay plans are available in all states and are subject to terms and conditions.
**Discounts may only apply to certain coverages and are subject to terms and conditions and may not be available in all states or distribution channels. Price may vary depending on how you buy.