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How Underage DUI Affects Auto Insurance

For many parents, letting their teenage son or daughter drive for the first time can be very scary. Though entering the world of driving is a part of growing up, it doesn’t mean parents won’t stop worrying about their kids’ safety. Common parental concerns include but are not limited to:

  • Will my teenager get into an accident?
  • Will my teenager text while driving?
  • Will my teenager drink and drive?
  • Will my teenager fall asleep at the wheel?
  • Will my teenager drive with their friends?
  • Will my teenager drive too fast?
  • Will my teenager drive under the influence?

These are all valid concerns because after all, statistically teens get into more crashes than any other age group, and their parents are legally responsible for their actions. If teens weren’t in so many crashes, their auto insurance rates wouldn’t be so high, would they?

Talk about parental stress, when you factor in having to add a teen driver onto the family auto insurance policy, it doesn’t alleviate any of the stress experienced by parents. Throw in an underage DUI, and it’s every parent’s nightmare. Ask any insurance agent, and they will tell you that in policy terms, a DUI is a “scarlet letter” to insurers. About half of the companies will drop an entire family if their teen is convicted of DUI. If an insurer decides not to cancel the family’s policy, the parents can expect their policy rates to double or triple – ouch!

If the teen has their own insurance policy because they drive a car that is in their own name, they will face astronomical rate hikes after a DUI. If parents don’t want a teen’s DUI to affect their insurance premium, they can avoid putting their teen on their policy. However, this is not typically the most cost-effective choice. Most parents add their teens to their policies.

When a teen has their own insurance policy, it is usually far more expensive than if they were insured under the family’s policy. It’s basically a tough decision that parents have to weigh carefully when it comes time to insure the newest licensed driver in the household.

Other Consequences of an Underage DUI

California has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. This means that if a driver is under the age of 21 and they drive with any “detectable” amount of alcohol in their system, they can be arrested and face DUI charges.

What are the possible penalties of an underage DUI?

  • Jail
  • Fines
  • Up to one year driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory DUI school
  • Up to five years’ probation

Unfortunately, teenagers aren’t the only ones impacted by an underage DUI conviction. Parents feel the sting too, especially in the wallet where it hurts. If your son or daughter was arrested for DUI, you have every reason to hire an Orange County DUI defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to fight their charges. Even if the odds are stacked against your teen driver, we can still shoot for the lowest possible penalties.

As a nationally Board Certified DUI defense specialist, Attorney Virginia Landry has the knowledge and experience to defend your son or daughter. Don’t wait, call now!