In Chicago, certain violations can penalize you by forcing you to switch insurance policies. One such strategy is the SR-22, a type of car insurance reserved for what the state considers high-risk individuals. SR-22s are expensive and could cost you up to $2,000 for the extra coverage. An SR-22 can set you back big time, and you’ll need to maintain it for three whole years. It is definitely in your best interest to avoid getting one at all cost.
Don’t Go Over the Limit
Not the speed limit — the 0.8 blood alcohol concentration limit. A DUI conviction will get your license suspended, and you’ll need an SR-22 to start driving again. If you have multiple vehicles, you will need a separate SR-22 for each car that you will be using. Aside from the SR-22, you will be required to equip all your vehicles with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).
This device serves as a Breathalyzer that is connected to your vehicles ignition system. You will need to pass a Breathalyzer test to get your vehicle to start. BAIIDs require constant maintenance and calibration and can cost $70-$100 a month. If you do get a DUI conviction in Chicago, switching to an SR-22 will be the least of your problems. Chicago takes DUI convictions very seriously. You will get a permanent mark on your record and no amount of time or good behavior can erase those records.
Don’t Neglect Your Kid
If you’re paying child support, failure to fulfill your obligations can be cause for the suspension of your license. The state gives you 90 days to pay the required support, and your license will be revoked if you fail to meet that deadline. You can appeal for various grounds — one of which is proving that you need to drive to get to work. The court can grant your petition, but you will be required to apply for SR-22 insurance. This can seem counterintuitive as it’s already proven that you’re having money troubles. Illinois considers driving an extravagance since you can always use public transport to save on fuel costs. If you don’t pay, then you don’t drive.
Pay Your Parking Tickets
If you accumulate multiple moving violations within a determined period of time, you will be required to switch to SR-22 insurance. These violations might involve speeding, disregarding a stop sign, running a red light, fleeing the scene of an accident, or unpaid parking tickets. Yes, unpaid parking tickets. It can seem trivial, but if you accumulate enough cards in just a few months, the system will flag you and consider you a high-risk individual. Your license won’t be suspended, but you will need to maintain your SR-22 for three years.
An SR-22 is a reminder that you did wrong and that the State has its eyes on you. It’s a reminder that you’ll have to carry for three whole years and can cost you around $6,000 — quite an expensive tuition for the school of hard knocks.