Driving drunk or driving at a high rate of speed can result in drivers paying high-level fines in Maryland. However, the costs of a traffic ticket or DUI do not stop there. These violations — even a seemingly inconsequential speeding ticket — can result in auto insurance rate hikes that will hurt your long-term financial situation.

For example, for speeding ticket-related insurance rate hikes, the national average is 14 percent. However, in some states, an insurance rate hike can be as high as about 60 percent and as low as about 10 percent. Driving under the influence convictions are even more substantial.

For DUI-related insurance rate hikes, the national average is approximately 62 percent of an increase. However, in North Carolina, a DUI will result in a 368 percent insurance rate increase. In Maryland, it’s a 19 percent increase.

The figures in this article were compiled in an analysis by NerdWallet. What the study found was significant differences from state to state with regard to how much a specific kind of traffic violation will cost.

Maryland drivers need to remember that just because they received a speeding ticket does not mean that they were guilty of the offense, and the same is true for all other violations — including DUI. Every driver will have the right to fight their traffic tickets and DUI allegations in court, and with an experienced attorney by one’s side, accused drivers can seek to limit the chances and/or severity of punishments resulting from their charges. Indeed, no accused driver will be viewed as guilty, nor punished, by a court until — and only if — he or she pays for the ticket without challenging it or is proved to be guilty of the offense in court.

Source: SFGate, “Holiday Travel? Study Finds Where Unsafe Driving Raises Insurance Most,” Elizabeth Renter, accessed Jan. 04, 2017