How does a DUI affect my auto insurance?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs will affect your auto insurance rates
  • Not only is driving under the influence dangerous and illegal, it can even be deadly
  • If you receive a DUI charge, you may face legal fines, jail time, or other court-mandated consequences
  • A DUI charge will negatively affect your auto insurance

There are many circumstances that negatively or positively affect auto insurance. Being aware of what affects your auto insurance rates and coverage is one way to make sure you are getting the best deal that you can as well as saving money.

However, some circumstances not only affect your car insurance but also can have devastating effects on your life and the lives of others.

Read on to learn about DUIs and auto insurance and then be sure to do the proper research and enter your zip code in for a free car insurance quote comparison.

What is a DUI charge?

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All 50 states have strict DUI laws.

Anyone who operates a motorized vehicle while intoxicated with alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs is in danger of receiving a DUI.

  • When a law enforcement officer notices signs of intoxication while driving such as erratic driving, or visible signs of drinking in the vehicle, they may perform a traffic stop.
  • If signs continue during the traffic stop such as a smell of alcohol, slurred speech, or other odd behaviors, the officer can perform a field sobriety test.
  • If a driver fails this test, the officer can perform a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test.

In many states, .08 percent BAC is considered intoxicated while other states have even lower percentages. Some states have a percentage of .02 percent for those under the legal drinking age.

What are the legal ramifications of a DUI charge?

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Before worrying about how a DUI affects your auto insurance, the legal ramifications should be noted.

Again, the consequences will depend on the state, judges, if others were injured or killed because of your DUI, or if you have previous DUI charges.

Legal consequences include:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Loss of license for a year
  • Loss of license for life
  • Court-ordered rehabilitation

For a first time offense with no damage or injury caused, full driving rights may eventually be restored, if your record stays clean. For repeat offenders, full driving rights may never be restored.

Fines can ruin your financial picture as well. Some states will fine those convicted of a DUI up to $24,000.

Regardless of legal ramifications, driving while intoxicated is never a good idea. It is dangerous and can be deadly.

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What are the effects of a DUI on auto insurance?

Having a DUI on your record automatically classifies you as a high-risk driver.

Being a high-risk driver means that the insurance company is taking a high risk by insuring you because the risk of you causing an accident or needing to file a claim is high.

The higher the risk the higher the cost of insurance.

Other types of high-risk drivers are teenagers, those with multiple accidents, and those who have driven without insurance.

If you have been convicted of a DUI, insurance is still available, but finding a company may be more difficult.

A DUI will stay on your record for at least 3 years or more depending on the state you receive your DUI in. This means that for three years you will be considered a high-risk driver even if you have no other incidents.

Many insurance companies will not insure someone with a DUI charge so finding a company may take some research.

Be sure to let your insurance company know if you received a DUI charge right away. If they find out through the state, they may cancel your insurance without notice.

The easiest way to find a company is to compare rates online using an online comparison tool. You can see rates and policy information side by side so that you can determine how much your insurance coverage will be.

Comparison tools allow you to input your information  and receive quotes and rates from several companies. Enter your ZIP into our quote tool to start now!

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