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Driving Drunk: One of the Most Expensive Mistakes You Can Make by chathumi dakshina  jun 15th 2013 5:00AM
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Once you've had your license for a while, it's easy to forget that driving is a dangerous business. Recently, a spate of fatal crashes across the country have drawn renewed attention to the fact that car accidents are the top killer of U.S. teenagers. And for those who drink and drive, the dangers are also incredibly high: in 2011, 31 percent of traffic deaths -- and 2.5 percent of deaths overall -- were caused by drunk driving.

But even for those who manage to avoid getting into an accident, getting caught driving under the influence can have steep financial consequences. Recent research by CoverHound, a company that compares car insurance rates, revealed the economic costs of drunk driving. According to their findings, insurance premiums go up an average of 86 percent -- or $5,130 -- in the first year after a DUI. Most of the economic pain from a DUI hits in the first three years, but drivers can expect to pay more for insurance for seven years after a conviction.

That's assuming, of course, that they can still get coverage. "If you get a DUI, some carriers will drop you, and some will increase insurance premiums by 300 percent or even 400 percent," notes Basil Enan, founder and CEO of CoverHound. "Some carriers refuse to insure anyone who has been convicted of a DUI."
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