Once again, I will answer this question only as it pertains to the State of Maine.
In Maine there are two distinct proceedings involved in every OUI case (an administrative license suspension proceeding and a criminal case). Maine will not directly notify your insurance carrier regarding either proceeding. Furthermore, you are not required to file an SR-22 form with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles in order to have your Maine driving privileges restored on a first offense administrative suspension or criminal conviction.
An SR-22 form is required as a condition of reinstatement upon a second or subsequent conviction. An SR-22 form is a document that your carrier must file with the BMV in order to prove that you have the appropriate level of coverage to allow you to drive in Maine.
Accordingly, you must self-report a second or subsequent OUI conviction to your insurance company so that they will file the SR-22 form on your behalf. But again, you are NOT required to file an SR-22 form following a first offense conviction.
What action, if any, that your carrier takes depends on a number of factors. The first factor is whether or not they find out about the conviction or administrative suspension. Obviously, they will find out if an SR-22 is required. From that point on, it all depends upon your carrier’s policy regarding OUI convictions. Some may take no action, some may raise your premium and some may cancel your policy altogether. Historically, I have received very few reports of cancellation even on second or subsequent convictions.
Most insurance carriers order three year driving records (they are much cheaper than ten year records) even on routine audits. Thus, first offense convictions usually fly under the radar. However, the low premium carriers are usually more diligent in their monitoring of your record. One local Maine carrier has, in my experience, cancelled policies upon discovery of administrative notices of suspension prior to the administrative hearing.
Bottom line: The answer to this question depends upon many factors. There is no legal, concrete answer. The policies and practices of one carrier may differ greatly from another. For information regarding the exact policies and practices of specific insurance companies, you should consult with a trusted insurance agent or broker.
For more information contact Nichols & Tucker to speak with one of our attorneys.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general, not specific, information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author(s) and the reader(s).