Do You Have a DUI? Here’s How Long Will It Affect Your Car Insurance
Every day, roughly 32 people are killed in the United States due to drunk driving car crashes. That equals one person every 45 minutes.
For this reason, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal across all states.
If you are found guilty of committing this offense by the authorities, you could be convicted of a DUI, which will go on your driving record. This is likely to impact your car insurance rates.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about a DUI, and how you can save money on purchasing auto insurance if you have been convicted of one.
What Is a DUI?
DUI is an acronym that stands for ‘driving under the influence’. Other terms for this offense include:
- DWI – driving while intoxicated or impaired.
- OUI – operating under the influence.
- OWI – operating while intoxicated.
These terms all relate to the same offense, which is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you will face strict penalties including fines, jail time, or the suspension of your license.
This could also result in higher auto insurance rates for a few years following the conviction. The penalties that you can expect following a DUI conviction include:
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
- Jail time.
- The impoundment or confiscation of your vehicle.
- Your mandatory attendance at a DUI school.
- Alcohol or substance abuse evaluations.
- Your enrollment into alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs.
- House arrest.
- Community service.
If you get a DUI conviction, you may need to also submit an SR-22 form to the department of transport in your state to restore your driving privileges.
Key Point: What Is an SR-22 Form?
Also known as an FR-22 in Florida, an SR-22 form is a certificate of insurance that proves you have the minimum liability coverage required by your state.
For this reason, an SR-22 form is also known as a ‘Certificate of Financial Responsibility’.
An SR-22 will be ordered by your state, or by a court after a DUI conviction. If it is court-ordered, the judge will tell you at the court hearing.
If your SR-22 is state-ordered, you will receive a letter in the mail from the department of motor vehicles in your state.
Some other official reasons for needing an SR-22 form include:
Having an SR-22 and a DUI on your name will result in significant auto insurance premium hikes.
To get all the information you need regarding SR-22 insurance, read this page that covers this topic in more detail.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?
Most states make use of a point system to track your driving.
When you commit a traffic violation such as a DUI, your license may be suspended or revoked, and you will have points added to your driving record.
The states that don’t use a point system, will automatically suspend your license or fine you.
Generally, for those states that use the point system, these points will remain on your driving record for three years. A DUI on the other hand, will stay on your driver’s license for longer.
Typically, a DUI will remain on your driving record for between five and ten years.
An auto insurance company will check your driver’s license points or the traffic violations on your driving record when pricing your insurance policy’s premium.
A DUI conviction marks you as a risky driver according to auto insurance companies.
This is why some car insurance companies will deny you insurance following a DUI conviction.
Other insurance companies will simply charge you significantly higher auto insurance rates than they would if you didn’t have a DUI on your record.
Key Point: Other Factors That Could Influence Your DUI Conviction
Your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level
0.08% is the general DUI threshold for adults, so if yours is higher, this could result in a criminal charge.
If you are under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.02% will be enough to convict you of a DUI.
The type of vehicle you are driving
If you were driving a commercial vehicle and you had a BAC of 0.04%, you could lose your commercial driver’s license or have it suspended.
Your previous offenses
Past DUIs and traffic violations could impact the severity of your punishment.
The injuries caused by your DUI
If any other people are harmed as a result of your drunk driving, you will be charged with more serious offenses in addition to a DUI.
How Do Car Insurance Companies Find Out about a DUI?
Whenever you are looking to buy a new auto insurance policy or renew an existing one, the insurance company will check your motor vehicle report (MVR).
This MVR is a report of your driving history from your state’s department of motor vehicles.
Exactly when your insurance company will discover your DUI, depends on how often they check your MVR.
Your car insurance company will also find out about your DUI if you are told by authorities to file an SR-22 form.
Although it may be tempting to keep quiet about your DUI to delay any car insurance rate increases, it’s better to contact your insurer to find out what to do about it.
If your current insurance company decides to not renew your policy, you will need to look for a high-risk insurer that will assist you.
Key Point: Top High-Risk Insurance Companies in the U.S.
Here are some high-risk insurance companies that you can consider when searching for cheap DUI auto insurance:
Because high-risk auto insurance costs more than a normal insurance policy, it’s best to get as many quotes as possible.
To get and compare cheap auto insurance quotes, why don’t you try out our quote generator? Just enter your zip code and get the best and cheapest car insurance quotes.
How Much Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase after a DUI Conviction?
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
This places you at a higher risk of having an accident and makes insurance companies nervous about potential auto insurance payouts.
Key Point: Insurance Rates for DUI Convicted Drivers Are Expensive
The national average auto insurance rate increase for drivers with a DUI is approximately 74%.
To put this into context, the increase in your car insurance rate after receiving a speeding ticket is only 21% and 41% after an accident.
Some insurance companies will be completely unwilling to insure you after a DUI conviction.
Those that are willing to insure you are considered high-risk insurers and they will provide you with cover, but it will come at the cost of a more expensive premium.
DUIs affect car insurance rates because insurance providers will be held responsible for covering the costs of any future car accidents you may be involved in.
DUI drivers are considered high-risk and could potentially cost their insurers more than a low-risk client.
An insurance company will generally consider a high-risk driver as less likely to change their driving habits.
How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?
If you have experienced an increase in your auto insurance coverage as a result of a DUI conviction, you could be paying expensive premiums for years to come.
Most insurance companies will keep your driving records on file for three to five years.
This means that if you got a DUI in 2022, you may be paying higher car insurance rates until 2025 or 2027.
Keep in mind that depending on the state you live in, your DUI will remain on your driving record for five to ten years and this period could in some cases be even longer.
How Can You Lower Your Insurance Rates after a DUI Conviction?
There are a few key steps that you can take to improve your car insurance rates. For example, you could:
1. Show that you are a safe driver
Some insurance companies may be willing to reduce your insurance premiums over time if you are able to prove that you are a lower insurance risk.
This means that you will need to avoid getting any further points on your driving license, or more traffic violation convictions.
2. Switch insurance companies
Apart from staying safe on the roads, you can also consider shopping around for cheaper auto insurance quotes and changing over to a new insurance company.
3. Maintain a high credit score
Either improve your credit score, or keep it high. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to receive better car insurance rates.
If You’ve Been Convicted of a DUI, You Can Still Get a Cheap Insurance Quote with Us
If you have a DUI conviction, the best way to kickstart your search for the cheapest high-risk auto insurance quote is to first use our free quote generator.
This will allow you to get an immediate idea of how much you could be spending on your car insurance.
From here, you can choose an insurer that would be willing to insure you, and that you would like to get a formal quote from.
Getting car insurance should be a stress-free process. With CheapInsurance.com we’ve got you covered!
Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can start comparing quotes today.