This weekend marks American independence, and with parties and parades planned from Portland to Philadelphia, it’s the biggest birthday bash of the entire year. The fourth of July weekend means backyard picnics and BBQs, fireworks and flags, sun tea and sparklers. Unfortunately, it also means more drunk drivers (and DUIs) on the road than any other weekend of the year. According to MSN Money, the Fourth of July is the number one holiday for alcohol-related fatal crashes.

You may already know this, but did you also know that a DUI can triple your car insurance premium for as long as 5 years? That means that if you pay $150 a month now, your premium could increase to $450 a month. Spread that extra $300 a month over the next 5 years and you will have paid $18,000(!) extra for the same coverage.

Once you have a DUI on your record, your car insurance company considers you a high-risk driver and so will charge you a higher rate (to offset the added risk). Additionally, you may no longer qualify for any car insurance discounts you may have been receiving prior to your DUI — such as good driver or claim-free — causing your rates to increase even further.

Of course, the numbers vary by state and circumstance, but after you add in fines, court costs, and DMV fees, the average DUI costs between $10,000 and $20,000. Compound all that needless expense with the inherent dangers of drinking and driving — the fact that you could lose your life (or take someone else’s) or wind up spending time in jail — and the reasons for staying smart and safe this weekend become more than evident.

If you’re like most of us, you’ve heard it all before, so just consider this a friendly reminder from a friendly car insurance company to avoid drunk (or even tipsy) driving this holiday weekend. Whatever you have planned — a picnic in the park or fireworks on the beach — have a great 4th and stay safe.

Safe and smart | Travel hacks


about Heidi

Heidi brings 11 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. Writer, editor, and all around wordsy, she was content when content wasn’t cool. Also, she likes old-school country.