FAQ: How Long Does a DUI Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Driving under the influence is a foolish and selfish choice to make. Regardless of whether or not you are caught, you are not only putting your own life on the line, but may ultimately harm an innocent party. The penalties for receiving a DUI are severe and will ultimately raise the cost of your car insurance. That spike in cost will be felt during your license renewal period when your insurance company will research your motor vehicle record for any listing of serious offenses.How long the DUI will be a blemish on your record is determined by the state in which you reside.

Duration of a DUI

Generally, a DUI will affect your car insurance rate for 3-10 years, but that of course is determined by the local laws. For example in California, a DUI will remain on your record for 7 years and if you fail to show up in court and accept responsibility, it can linger for a total of 10 years. In New Jersey, where a DUI is called a DWI (driving while intoxicated), if you are convicted of the crime the DWI will become a part of your permanent driving record.

DUI and Car Insurance Rates

A DUI may affect your car insurance for many years to come. Many states have a no-tolerance policy for catching drunk drivers and aside from paying higher than average car insurance premium, you risk having your insurance revoked altogether, being sentenced with mandatory jail time, community service, expensive fines and may have your license revoked or suspended.

Alcohol consumption affects everyone differently and some people may think they have a higher tolerance for the than others. But the reality is any amount of alcohol can impair your judgment when you are operating a motor vehicle. If you are unfortunate enough to be caught while driving under the influence of alcohol, be prepared to pay for it for many years to follow. Here is a useful state to state guide regarding DUI laws.