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Q

I recently received an absolute sobriety ticket and am wondering how much it will affect my auto insurance.


A

If you are convicted of the absolute sobriety (underage drinking) violation than your auto insurance rates will likely raise significantly. We cannot say how much because it will depend upon the rating system of your specific insurance provider but typically for an alcohol offense it can be double or triple what you were paying before the violation conviction. You may in fact be cancelled by your car insurer and need to find coverage with a high risk insurance provider since this type of offense is considered that serious by most insurance companies.

The term absolute sobriety appears to be unique to Wisconsin so we will give you information based on this state's laws.

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) notes that auto insurance premiums may be tripled or your policy may even be non-renewed if you received an operating while intoxicated (OWI) citation. If you are cited for underage drinking where the violation involved the operation or use of a motor vehicle, your insurance company might non-renew your insurance policy or increase the premium which would remain at the higher level for a number of years.

In WI everyone under the age of 21 are required by Wisconsin law to maintain absolute sobriety when driving. This means that their blood or breath alcohol concentration must be 0.0 while operating a motor vehicle, including motorcycles.

Wisconsin Statute 346.63 (2M) states that if a person has not attained the legal drinking age, the person may not drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.0% BAC. This provision in the "Not a Drop" Law (also referred to as absolute sobriety) carries a mandatory three-month suspension of driving privileges in addition to other possible charges that may be brought under the "Drinking Age Laws."

A refusal to take a breath test, for blood alcohol concentration, by any motor vehicle operator, results in a one year revocation of license. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% BAC or higher subjects an underage driver to penalties under Wisconsin's Drunk Driving Law.

In Wisconsin if an underage person is arrested for a non-driving alcohol violation, there are certain penalties that apply. Most convictions will result in monetary fines along with a suspension of driving privileges.

Drivers under age 21 who violate the Absolute Sobriety Law (Wisconsin's Not A Drop Law) will have their license suspended for 90 days and will receive a citation costing $375 with four demerit points assessed on their driver's license. If a passenger under the age of 16 is in the vehicle, violators will have their license suspended for six months, and they must pay $627 with four demerit points assessed on their license.

Wisconsin Statue section 125.07 also prohibits alcohol possession or consumption by people under age 21. So depending upon your age and under what exact subsection of 125.07 you were cited for you could receive a fine of between $50 to $500 and a 30 to 90 driver's license suspension.

As the Wisconsin OCI notes, if you are cited for underage drinking involving a motor vehicle, your insurance rate may be affected for a minimum of 3 years.

So you can expect your rates to double or even triple due to an alcohol offense of this type. Drinking and especially if you are ticketed while operating a vehicle is considered a serious offense by insurance providers and makes you much more of a risk to them and thus your rates increase accordingly. If you are cancelled by your insurance company you can get a quote here for Wisconsin car insurance.


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