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OUI Conviction and the Affects on Your Insurance Premiums in Maine

OUI Conviction Affects on Your Insurance Premiums in Maine

If you’re convicted of an OUI (the term used for drunk driving in Maine), you face multiple penalties that will affect you in the future.

A fine, a driving suspension, and a criminal record may be the main punishments but they are not necessarily the whole story.

An often-overlooked consequence of an OUI conviction in Maine is increased insurance premiums for repeat offenders. This can end up costing thousands more dollars in the years ahead, in addition to the fines and fees already paid.

So, let’s take a look at exactly how an OUI conviction affects insurance premiums here…

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Table of Contents

When do you need to file an SR-22 in Maine?

An SR-22 form must be completed by drivers who have a high-risk driving violation on their records, such as a second offense OUI.

The document is usually filed by insurance carriers with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) upon a driver’s request to prove that they have the appropriate level of coverage to drive in the state.

If you are accused of operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI), two separate proceedings will begin against you: a criminal case and an administrative driving penalty applied by the BMV.

Maine does not directly notify your insurance carrier in either of these proceedings and you are not required to file an SR-22 form with the BMV to have your driving privileges restored after a first offense administrative suspension or criminal conviction.

Learn More The SR-22 insurance requirements in Maine

However, after a second or subsequent conviction, it is a requirement to self-report and request your carrier to file an SR-22 form with the BMV as a condition of reinstatement of your driving privileges.

For a first conviction or administrative suspension, if your insurance company finds out about it, they may take action about your policy. But there is no guarantee the insurance company will find out.

That’s not the case for repeat offenders. Your carrier will find out via the SR-22 form request. The carrier will then revert to its policy for handling drivers with OUI convictions. Every insurance carrier will have a policy for this.

If you‘re lucky, no action will be taken. But your premium will likely be raised or, if you’re really unlucky, your policy cancelled (though this is quite rare).

While in criminal cases, a second OUI conviction within 10 years counts as a repeat offense, most insurance carriers order only three-year driving records rather than 10-year records because this is cheaper.

This means that first-offense OUI convictions rarely lead to insurance consequences, other than potentially higher premiums.

Generally speaking, the lower your insurance premium, the more likely that the offense will lead to a substantial premium increase or cancellation of the policy.

Note that the policies of different carriers vary greatly in Maine so the golden rule is to read the small print of your policy and/or speak with a trusted insurance agent.

Call 207-571-8146 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

How much more expensive is DUI insurance in Maine?

If your insurance carrier discovers a DUI conviction on your record, as it certainly will do after a second or subsequent conviction, you can expect to pay more for your insurance — but how much more is entirely up to your carrier’s policies.

In Maine, an OUI insurance policy includes:

  • $50,000 if injury or death is caused to one person
  • $100,000 if death or injury is caused to at least two people
  • $25,000 to cover repair bills for damage done to a vehicle, city property, livestock, buildings, and landscaping

Many times, an OUI will affect premiums even more than an at-fault accident, reckless driving or a racing conviction.

On average, a DUI conviction in Maine will lead to an increase in annual auto insurance premiums of $422. This is a lower increase than in many other states but it is still bad enough news for many offenders.

As always with auto insurance, a good strategy is to seek at least three quotes for your policy and be sure to read the small print. Some auto insurance companies in Maine may sell more affordable DUI insurance policies than others.

No auto insurance company specializes in providing cheap DUI insurance, so the easiest way to save is to shop around. You may be turned down by some carriers but the more you persevere, the more savings you may discover.

How long does an OUI affect insurance in Maine?

Because drunk driving offenders must file an SR-22 for three years under Maine laws, the higher OUI rates will apply for this entire period.

Are drunk driving consequences tough enough in Maine?

According to some reports, Maine has some of the laxest laws in the country for those with multiple drunk-driving convictions.

This opinion is mainly due to the relatively short mandatory jail terms imposed for repeat offenders. OUI rarely leads to any prison time unless the offender is involved in a fatal crash.

If responsible for a fatality, an offending driver can be convicted of vehicular homicide, which can result in up to 30 years in prison and permanent loss of the right to drive. That is tough enough.

Lengthy suspensions and fines are commonplace for other drunk driving convictions where there has been no injury or fatality and these increase for repeat offenders. You can

Drivers in Maine must, therefore, be vigilant and follow the drunk driving rules. Penalties are only going to get harsher and that could also have a further impact on OUI insurance premiums as well as multiple other consequences relating to a criminal conviction on your record.

If you need help defending against an OUI or any criminal charge in Maine, call The Maine Criminal Defense Group at 207-571-8146 for an initial case evaluation.

Call 207-571-8146 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

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