You know that driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to a fine, jail time, and driver’s license suspension, but once the check is signed, the jail time’s up, and your license is returned, the consequences of DUI continue for years to come via your car insurance.
Car insurance companies determine premiums based on risk. When you have a DUI on your record, insurance companies may consider you to be a higher risk driver. The result? A higher insurance rate. Some insurers might not even insure you. And as long as you have a DUI on your driving record, you can expect a higher insurance rate. Since DUIs typically stay on your driving record until January 1 of the fourth year following the offense, you’ll face higher insurance rates for several years after the offense.
You’ll also be required to a file an SR-22 with your insurance company. An SR-22 is a statement of financial responsibility that proves that you have the proper amount of insurance required by your state. An SR-22 will also put you in the higher risk category and will remain active based on your state and factors surrounding your DUI, which means even more years of increased insurance rates.
How much your insurance rates go up is dependent on a variety of factors, but the average car insurance premium can increase by a few hundred dollars when you have a DUI on your record, according to Esurance. Factors that determine how high your insurance rate goes up after a DUI include:
- Individual DUI circumstances, including number of DUI offenses, your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the offense(s), and how you were arrested for DUI (pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, pulled over on the highway, caused a car crash, etc.).
- Age: Younger DUI offenders can expect a higher increase in their insurance rates than older DUI offenders.
- Other accidents on your driving record.
- State: Each state has different rules about how much an insurer can charge.
- Specific location: Drivers who live in dense, urban areas are considered a higher risk.
- Lack of coverage at the time of the offense.
The next time you think about getting behind the wheel after drinking a few cocktails, remember that a DUI stays with you for years, whether you get pulled over for DUI or cause a fatal car crash while drinking and driving.