In our mulit-part series “Why Fight a DUI in Pennsylvania”, we take an in depth look at the laws and legal consequences of a DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as the repercussions outside of the courtroom. Today we take a look at the the financial liabilities you may face if convicted of a DUI.
Civil Liability As O.J. Simpson learned the “hard way,” acquittal or dismissal of criminal charges will not bar civil litigation. A criminal conviction or guilty plea, regardless of the plea reduction, even if to a no-point, non-moving traffic infraction, may have ramifications on a civil trial. There are many complex legal aspects that require a trained and knowledgeable DUI attorney to analyze and help you chart the most suitable path.
If you were involved in a DUI that involved an accident, even if there are no injuries to the other party, you need to consult with a qualified DUI attorney. If your case is in Pennsylvania, then call the DUI experts at The McShane Firm at 1-866-MCSHANE.
Bankruptcy & Dram Shop Act Claims or judgments for damages resulting from a DUI accident are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. 11 USC § 523(a)(9). DUI is included in the term “legal intoxication” within the meaning of § 523(a)(9), which makes claims for DUI injuries nondischargeable. Liability under the Dram Shop Act may be nondischargeable if characterized as a debt for “willful and malicious injury.” 11 USC § 523 (2)(6)).
Car Insurance This one should seem pretty obvious. The charge of a DUI will cause your insurance rates to sky-rocket and your insurance company will likely drop your coverage or force you to obtain very costly “shared pool of risk” insurance. Of course this is not a one time deal. You may ending up paying for a conviction for years to come.
Medical Insurance A DUI conviction can result in a denial of medical insurance. It also may substantially increase your premium if you can get coverage. Failure to disclose your conviction may void your policy and coverage.
Life Insurance A DUI conviction can result in a denial of life insurance as well. It also may substantially increase your premium if you can find coverage. Failure to disclose your conviction may void your policy and your benefits.
Interlock Ignition Device Some repeat offenders in Pennsylvania must pay to equip and maintain an ignition interlock device, which records blood alcohol concentration and may prevent ignition, at an annual cost of approximately $1,000.00 annually. Not only is this extremely costly, it also causes a lot of embarrassment especially if you have to give a coworker a ride.
Cumulative Financial Consequences Besides attorney fees, the approximate total financial penalties of a DUI conviction, even without an accident, including insurance rate increases, typically range from $7,000.00 to $40,000.00 if not more over one’s lifetime. In some cases you could lose your job.