Wisconsin takes drinking and driving seriously, and if a traffic stop leads to a charge of operating while intoxicated, you may face criminal as well as financial repercussions. While you may have to come up with the money to cover fines, bail and impound fees and other OWI-related expenditures, you should also anticipate your auto insurance rates rising quite a bit once you start driving again.
According to Insure.com, how much your insurance rates may rise after a conviction for drinking and driving is going to vary based on what state you live in and whether authorities arrested you for a similar offense in the past.
How much insurance rises in Wisconsin
If you had a fairly typical driving record before your first OWI arrest, you may have paid about $1,147 a year to insure yourself while driving. This is the average annual cost of insurance for most motorists in Wisconsin. However, once your insurer finds out about your drunk driving conviction, you should expect your rates to climb by about 46%. This means that, after an OWI, you are looking at paying about $1,674 per year to insure yourself driving, which comes out to be an annual difference of $527.
How to find the lowest insurance rates available
Some car insurance providers offer better rates for motorists with drunk driving histories than others. Furthermore, all insurers utilize different formulas when setting rates for customers. Thus, it may be advantageous financially for you to request quotes from several different insurance companies to see which ones offer you the lowest rate.
You may also find that your current insurer decides to drop you following a drunk driving arrest, in which case you may have no choice other than to explore alternative options.