A frequent question I get from new clients is how a Seattle DUI charge will affect vehicle insurance. I briefly touched upon SR-22 insurance in a previous post, but want to provide additional information here. Three years of SR-22 is a requirement the Department of Licensing (DOL) will impose upon Washington State drivers who: (1) are convicted of DUI; or (2) are convicted of Reckless Driving; or (3) suffer a DOL suspension/revocation for providing an Alcohol/Marijuana breath/blood sample equal to or above the legal limit and/or refusing to provide a breath/blood sample. Thus, while avoiding an SR-22 insurance requirement is, without question, a goal in every case, such is rarely an easy task.
In addition to making sure our clients obtain the best outcome possible, the attorneys at Veitch Ault & Associates strive to make any/all additional expenses (outside of lawyers fees) as minimal as possible. As I tell all potential clients, "I would like you to pay me and no one else." Realistically, there will be additional costs (outside of their lawyer's fee) for someone charge with a Seattle DUI (i.e. Alcohol Evaluation, attendance at a Victim's Panel, court costs, DUI Hearing fee to the State, etc...) However, we sincerely want you to pay as little as possible for these requirements. SR-22 is occasionally something our clients need to obtain. The following are a set of Frequently Asked Questions/Answers pertaining to SR-22:
What Is An SR-22? SR-22 isn't a type of insurance, but rather proof of liability insurance. Simply put, it is a form which must be filed by the insurance company to the state of Washington stating that auto liability insurance is in effect for a particular individual.
Can I get SR-22 With My Current Insurance Company? lt depends. Straight-shooting insurance companies that offer SR-22 will ask who a driver is presently insured with, and then advise the best, most affordable option of obtaining SR-22.
Will a 2nd Party SR-22 Provider Inform the Driver's Initial Company? Absolutely not. Any information obtained by the the 2nd party is private.
How is SR-22 Filed With the State? The reputable SR-22 carriers always file such electronically, which is the fastest way.
How Long Will It Take to File My SR-22? The companies referred to by Veitch Ault & Associates file ALL SR-22's no later than 24 hours of purchasing.
Can I Pre-Pay for the Whole Time I Need an SR-22? No. The SR-22 policy is just like one's current police, and is issued on a semi-annual or annual basis. Further, drivers are subsequently eligible for new rates and a driving record review.
Do I Need to Carry Proof of SR-22 in the Car with Me? No. The SR-22 agency merely provides proof to the state; nothing about SR-22 needs to be kept inside one's vehicle.
What if My Current Carrier Finds Out? Usually they will either drop you or raise your rate considerably. lf that happens, one can contact a company referred by Veitch Ault & Associates and ask for a quote combining one's 'regular Insurance with SR-22. lt is usually not as expensive as people expect.
How Can I Check the Status of My License? Visit the state of Washington DOL website: www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/checkstatus.html or call the customer service line 360-902-3900.
Will My SR-22 insurance Stop When My Time is up? No. The policy will continue until you tell the company in writing to top the policy.
Clearly, there is a great deal of room for companies offering SR-22 to take advantage of vulnerable drivers. Any/all agencies referred by Veitch Ault & Associates provide top-notch, honest services. Simply put, if agencies don't treat our clients right, they will not continue to receive our business. Our loyalty is only to our clients.
The attorneys at Veitch Ault & Associates focus in the defense of those accused of serious traffic offenses, including DUI. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Washington State, contact Veitch Ault & Associates immediately (425) 307-5515 to make sure one is given the best chance to defend themselves.