The Facts on Drunk Driving Insurance and Rates

Driving under the influence (DUI) is never a good idea. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of automobile crashes and the number one cause of death amongst drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Not only will such an incident impact your life and the lives of others in a negative way, but it will also result in an increase in drunk driving insurance premiums. All State have strict rules against drunk driving.

  • If you have ever considered, at one time or another, getting behind the wheel drunk, then these facts should sober you up.
  • The aftermath of a DUI charge could entail a substantial fine and criminal charges that will stay on your permanent driving record for three years after conviction, as well as facing the possibility of probation.
  • Drunk driving insurance premiums will significantly increase once you are placed into the high risk category. They may double or even triple for the first year and then remain at a higher rate for the next 3 to 6 years.
  • If you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or over, you will likely face criminal charges. Not only will your license be suspended immediately for 90 days (depending on whether it is a first time or repeat offense), but you could also be given jail time.
  • Add on the fees for legal representation, and the potential need to take time off work, and you may find yourself in debt for thousands of dollars.

Minimum Sentences

First Offense: $1,000 fine and a 12-month suspended license
Second Offense: 30 day jail sentence and 24-month suspended license
Third Offence: 120 day jail sentence and a 36-month suspended license
depending on state

Treatment Programs

Depending on the gravity of the offense and the rules of your state of residence, you may be required to take an alcohol education and treatment program. In some cases, an Ignition Interlock device may be installed in your vehicle, which prevents the motor from starting if your blood alcohol level is more than the set limit. This device necessitates that you give breath samples at set times, when you are in the car. If you do not comply, an alarm will sound until you turn the ignition off. This handy device costs about $125 for installation and involves a monthly maintenance fee as well.

DUI and Drunk Driving Insurance Rates

Having a DUI on your record will negatively affect your insurance. Even if you are not convicted, insurance companies will be examining your records in order to set your drunk driving insurance rate, doubling or tripling them for up to the next 6 years. Some insurance providers might even rate you as an assigned risk, while others may cancel your policy outright, leaving you without insurance protection.


If you get into an accident because of drunk driving, you can be held liable for automobile damages to your own car and to any other involved parties. If anyone is injured in the accident, you can be held responsible for personal injury and may face a suit. You might be forced to pay the medical bills of the injured person(s), which can lead to another day in court if you are being sued for additional damages. You will need legal representation; lawyer fees are costly.

Drunk Driving Insurance Renewal

When comes time to renew your automobile insurance, you will have to start from scratch, having to show a flawless driving record. Insurance companies will go back three years in your file, which must indicate that you are absolutely clean in the eyes of the law - no speeding tickets or traffic violations of any type, otherwise your drunk driving insurance rate will be substantial. In order to return to your pre-DUI status and get lower rates, your record has to be clean for as long as 6 years after the incident.

There are hefty sanctions against drivers foolish enough to drink and drive, so before you get behind the wheel of a car intoxicated, ponder the potential consequences of your action. In the long run, drunk driving can cost you more than you can afford.