Drinking and drugs don’t mix with driving. Earning a DUI charge is a serious offense that comes with legal and insurance consequences. A DUI conviction results in suspended driving privileges, license suspension, fines, and in some cases, jail time. Your driving record and car insurance premiums are also impacted by a DUI conviction. It’s not impossible to get an auto insurance policy following a DUI charge, but it’s not easy or cheap.
What is a DUI?
A DUI or DWI means driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, whether prescription, OTC, or illicit. A first offense DUI is typically a misdemeanor, but a second offense may result in a felony and jail time depending on the state law in which the infraction occurs. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is tested to determine if you are drunk driving. Most states have a legal BAC limit of 0.08 percent, though some states like Utah have a lower BAC of 0.05 percent for drivers over the age of 21. Drunk driving with a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher when under the legal drinking age or while on probation for DUI will earn you a DUI charge.
How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?
You can expect a DUI conviction to stay on your driving record for three to five years in most states. Some states drop a DUI from your driver’s record after three years as if a traffic violation. In other states like California, you’ll be facing a marred driving record for 10 years. Depending on the severity of the DUI charge, it may stay on your criminal record for life. You can undergo an expungement process to remove a DUI from your criminal record. An expunged DUI may still show up on your driving record, but this will last for a finite period of time. You can expect to face fines and severe penalties depending on the state law where the driving infraction occurs.
Following a DUI conviction, you’re required to file an SR-22 form with your car insurance provider. This will undoubtedly cause your car insurance rate to soar. According to Insurantly.com, auto insurance companies track your driving record using a point system and use points to determine the cost of DUI/DWI car insurance. Every infraction increases your insurance rate by a predetermined fraction of a point.
How long does a DUI stay on your insurance? A DUI offense can remain on your insurance record for up to 10 years. Over time, you can lower your auto insurance rates by taking a defensive driving course, avoiding future DUIs, and proving to your car insurance company that you have no intention of committing a repeat DUI offense. You can lower your car insurance rate by proving that you’re no longer a high-risk driver. Keep your DMV record pristine by maintaining a clean driving record. As your driving points begin to drop, so will your insurance rate.
How does a DUI affect car insurance?
There’s no getting around an insurance premium increase with a DUI violation. DUI drivers are considered high-risk drivers by car insurance companies, and some refuse insurance coverage altogether. The presence of other driving violations and or a prior DUI will affect how much your insurance rate increases. When it’s car insurance policy renewal time or when you apply for a new policy, the insurance provider will reference your driving record. Assuming your current insurance company keeps your coverage following a conviction, you’ll pay significantly higher rates.
You may find it difficult to get a standard insurance policy, but there are DUI insurance options. Comparison shop insurance policies from multiple insurance companies. Not all insurers treat DUI offenses the same, which means you may qualify for insurance coverage. Some insurers specialize in non-standard car insurance for high-risk drivers. If you are declined for insurance coverage with an insurance provider, your last option is to purchase an insurance policy through the state’s assigned-risk pool for auto insurance.
An influence conviction is an expense driving violation that affects your driving record and insurance record.