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Auto liability coverage a must for drivers with DUI

All states except New Hampshire and Wisconsin require drivers to carry auto liability insurance, but insurance requirements become much stricter for drivers with a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).

Proof of auto liability coverage is required for DUI convicts in most states. Offenders establish their coverage with a form called SR-22 that they must obtain from their insurance company when they have their driver's license reinstated or at renewal.

However, insurance companies may choose not to cover drivers with a DUI conviction and, at the very least, will substantially raise an offender's insurance premium, experts say.

Penalties for DUI are usually severe and include loss of license, serious fines or jail for multiple offenses.

A recent survey by a major auto insurance company found that 52 percent of Texas teens admit to having driven while drunk or having been a passenger in a car with a teen driver who was drinking.

Texas has a zero tolerance law, meaning it is illegal for drivers under 21 to have any detectable trace of alcohol in their system. Teen drivers who are caught for first-offense DUI in that state face an automatic 60-day license suspension, a mandatory drinking awareness course and up to a $500 fine.

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