When an Arkansas law enforcement officer stops your car and suspects you may have been drinking, he or she may ask you to take a breath test to determine your level of intoxication. The officer may charge you with driving while intoxicated, and if the charge ends with a conviction, you may face numerous penalties.
As a first-time Arkansas DWI offender, you may face up to a year behind bars. You may also face fines, license suspensions and other consequences. While these expenditures may cost you a considerable sum, you should also consider how much your insurance rates may go up once you start driving again.
Arkansas insurance rate hikes after DWI
Per Insure.com, the average Arkansas motorist with one DWI watches his or her annual insurance premiums rise by 65%. So, if your driving record was fairly standard before your drunk driving conviction, you likely paid about $1,556 per year for insurance coverage. After that 65% rate hike, though, you are looking at paying closer to $2,563 per year, which amounts to an annual increase of $1,007.
The importance of shopping around
You may find that there is a notable difference between the rates your current insurance provider offers after a DWI and those offered by alternative insurance companies. For this reason, you may want to shop around before agreeing to stay with your existing insurer.
Arkansas’ look-back period following a drunk driving conviction is five years, meaning any increase in your insurance premiums is likely going to remain in place for this amount of time.