Having a driver’s license is only the first necessary step to own and operate a motor vehicle. You also need to register the vehicle and maintain liability insurance for it. Every time that you drive, you will be subject to law enforcement efforts.

If a police officer sees you engaged in unsafe or illegal behavior at the wheel, they will likely pull you over and issue a ticket. More serious traffic infractions, like drunk driving allegations, may lead to an arrest.

If someone gets convicted of an impaired driving offense, they face jail time and fines assessed by the state. Some people, including those facing a first-time driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, might think that pleading guilty is a faster, more effective solution than fighting their charges. However, they may not realize the lasting financial implications of a guilty plea.

Drunk driving charges significantly increased insurance costs

What you pay for insurance depends based on your sex and your age. Even the neighborhood where you store your vehicle can influence how much you pay for coverage. Your driving record also plays a major role.

Even basic traffic tickets will increase what you pay for insurance, so drunk driving charges will have a profound effect. Someone without a DWI on their driving record will pay an average of $1,415 for a year of motor vehicle insurance coverage in Texas. Their costs will increase by 54% after a single DWI to $2,178 per year.

Those increased rates will persist for several years, adding up to thousands of dollars in some cases. In rare scenarios, a person convicted of drunk driving could even lose their coverage, forcing them to find a new policy that costs far more than the previous one they had.

You can defend against the DWI

While you may think that a chemical breath test means an automatic conviction, there are actually numerous ways to fight drunk driving charges. Maybe the police officer made mistakes regarding how they performed the traffic stop. Perhaps there were issues with the accuracy of the testing unit.

Instead of pleading guilty and accepting the numerous costs and penalties that come from drunk driving allegations, you may benefit more from mounting a defense to avoid a criminal record and a spike in your insurance costs. Learning about the possible penalties for a DWI conviction may give you the motivation you need to fight back.