If you are arrested and convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or another substance, expect hefty fines, court costs, lawyer fees and possible jail time. You may also lose your automobile insurance or pay much more for coverage after the conviction.
If you want to see how much car insurance might cost after a DUI conviction, keep reading.
How much does insurance go up after a DUI?
According to the 2022 data from Quadrant Information, insurance rates following a first DUI conviction can increase anywhere from 20% to 283%.
“Insurance premiums could rise anywhere from 40% to 90% or more, depending on the insurance company, the state you live in, and the number of violations you have on your record,” says Lauren Mckenzie, an insurance broker with A Plus Insurance.
Keep in mind that your insurance rates will not automatically go up until your policy is due for renewal.
“For instance, if you have a six-month insurance policy, the rates will be adjusted upon the end of the six months at the beginning of a new insurance term,” she says. “That can give you time to shop around for other insurance companies to compare prices and find something affordable.”
DUI insurance rates by state
Residents of North Carolina who get a DUI face the largest increase in their insurance rates to the tune of 307%, followed by 217% in Hawaii, 207% in California, 157% in Michigan – an already expensive state for car insurance – and 100% in Minnesota.
With a second DUI, your insurance rates will jump 425% in California, 421% in Hawaii, 367% in Michigan and 316% in North Carolina. In the table below, see how much you can expect to pay for car insurance in each state after a first and second DUI, according to 2022 data.
Which companies offer the cheapest insurance after a DUI?
New Jersey Manufacturers and National General offer the smallest insurance rate increases after one DUI at 20% and 38%, respectively, with Progressive, American Family and Mercury rounding out the top five. See the insurance rates after a DUI from major companies in 2022 in the table below.
How long does a DUI stay on your record?
Depending on the state you live in, a DUI can stay on your motor vehicle record anywhere from five years up to your entire lifetime.
Here are examples of lengths in various states, according to Mark Friedlander, director of corporate communications for the Insurance Information Institute, an insurance industry association:
- Arizona: Five years
- California: 10 years
- New York: 15 years
- New Mexico: 55 years
- Florida: 75 years
- Illinois, Ohio and Vermont: Life
“However, a DUI will remain in your criminal history forever,” says attorney James Grant with Georgia Trial Attorneys at Kirchen & Grant. “Criminal offenses do not fall off your criminal history. The issue is how far back an insurance company will search your record. Most insurance companies only search for a seven- or 10-year driving history. So, if your DUI occurred more than 10 years ago, chances are it will no longer affect your insurance rates.”
Friedlander says a first DUI conviction will typically result in a minimum of seven consecutive years of annual surcharges added to your premium bill.
How can you find cheap car insurance after a DUI?
Whether your existing carrier keeps your policy intact without cancellation or you have to get a new policy, prepare to get several quotes for your best shot at finding an affordable policy.
“Ideally, get a minimum of three quotes from national and regional insurers to compare costs and coverages,” Friedlander says. “You can obtain quotes online or work with a local insurance agent.”
Also, “consider looking for smaller insurance companies. While the large ones are more likely to offer coverage, smaller ones that only operate in a limited number of states can often come through with better deals,” says Attorney Ben Michael with Michael & Associates, a law firm in Austin, Texas.
Mckenzie recommends going through an independent insurance broker, as these professionals can get quotes from several different insurance companies and save you time and money.
You may also be able to reduce your insurance costs by pursuing discounts, such as bundling your homeowners and auto insurance together and opting for paperless billing.
Final thoughts on shopping for car insurance after a DUI
Driving under the influence is regarded as one of the riskiest of all driving behaviors and should be avoided at all costs. It’s no surprise, then, that it can be increasingly challenging for those with a DUI on their motor vehicle record to get car insurance.
“It’s not impossible to obtain insurance coverage after a DUI conviction. Just be aware that, if you can get coverage, it will likely take 10 years before your rates return to normal,” Grant says.
Resources & Methodology
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to pull rates in 2022 for a 40-year-old male driver with full coverage insurance driving a Honda Accord LX and a first DUI/DWI offense.