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If you have a DUI on your record, that means you were caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most DUIs are misdemeanors, but they still come with serious consequences. You could have your drivers' license and vehicle registration suspended, pay up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees, and even serve jail time.
A DUI will almost always cause your insurance rates to increase significantly. The national average full-coverage policy for a driver with a clean record is $207 per month, but this increases to $341 per month after a DUI. But you can still find ways to save on car insurance after a DUI, like comparing quotes from multiple insurers.
What is DUI insurance?
“DUI” stands for “driving under the influence” of one or more substances that impair your ability to drive safely. Depending on the state, the illegal “influence” could be alcohol, drugs, or both.
A DUI conviction will significantly affect your car insurance. No policy exists specifically for DUI coverage, but you’ll likely pay much more for standard car insurance after a DUI charge. You may have trouble finding coverage at all. And in certain states, you’ll need to have your insurer file an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate of financial responsibility, proving that you have the state's minimum required amount of liability insurance.
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What are the penalties after a DUI?
Each state determines how it will penalize drivers convicted of a DUI. Generally, penalties can include one or more of the following:
Suspension or revocation of vehicle registration
License suspension or revocation
Vehicle ignition interlock
You may also face additional, even more serious charges if aggravating factors come into play. For example, in Texas, if you’re caught driving under the influence with a child younger than 15 in your vehicle, you’ll also be charged with child endangerment. And in any state, if your impaired driving results in someone’s death, you could face manslaughter or even murder charges.
A DUI charge typically can remain on your driving record for five to 10 years. Depending on where you live, it may even stay on your record indefinitely.
SR-22 and FR-22 certificates
Neither an FR-22 not an SR-22 are insurance — they're forms you file with the state to prove that you have the minimum required liability coverage. They're often referred to as a certificate of responsibility. Florida and Virginia use FR-44 forms, while other states that require proof of financial liability use SR-22s.
If you need an SR-22 or FR-22 form, the first step is to call your insurance company and see if it offers them. If so, it will add the form to your existing policy and file the document with the state.
However, be aware that each state has its own unique regulations and requirements, so it’s a good idea to contact the DMV to make sure you’ve done everything required of you.
Best cheap DUI insurance companies
On average, drivers with a DUI pay more for car insurance, but it’s possible to find cheap rates. The following table highlights the average monthly quotes of insurers that offer affordable rates for drivers with a DUI.
The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Thursday, November 30 at 11:00 AM PST.
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Insurify uses an in-house, proprietary method to rate and review the best car insurance companies. The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 crucial criteria, including average premiums, customer satisfaction, discounts, third-party ratings, and more, to calculate a final score for a company.
Criteria are weighted by importance to the consumer — factors such as customer reviews and affordability influence the score more than availability and third-party ratings. With the IQ Score, Insurify is able to provide quantitative ratings for drivers to better compare car insurance companies and make informed decisions to meet their coverage needs.
Cheapest DUI insurance by state
The amount you pay following a DUI will largely be determined by the insurance regulations of the state you live in. For example, states like Idaho are still relatively affordable, with an average monthly quote of $84 for liability coverage. But getting a DUI in New York could cost you upwards of $188 a month.
The following table breaks down what you can expect to pay for liability coverage per month with a DUI in each state. Remember that you always have the option to shop around and look into different insurers. Even New York drivers can save money by comparing quotes to find a more affordable insurer.
Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming omitted due to insufficient data.
How DUIs affect insurance premiums
Any time you’re caught engaging in high-risk driving behavior, such as driving under the influence, it’s likely going to cause your insurance premiums to increase. While accidents and speeding tickets can also cause rate increases, DUIs typically have the most severe impact on what you’ll pay.
The monthly cost for drivers with a speeding ticket can be more than $144 per month for liability-only coverage, while drivers with an at-fault accident pay $149 per month or more. But drivers who have a DUI could see their insurance rates go to $170 or more per month.
That’s because driving under the influence makes you a risk to your insurance company. Alcohol reduces brain function and impairs your judgment, reasoning, and muscle coordination, reducing your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
And drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher who are involved in fatal car accidents are four times more likely to have previous DUI convictions. For that reason, your insurer could decide not to even renew your policy once it expires.
How to find affordable insurance after a DUI
You should expect your insurance premiums to increase after a DUI, but it’s still possible to find affordable car insurance. Here are seven steps you can take to find cheap rates after a DUI.
1. Research insurance companies
Before you begin shopping for car insurance quotes, it’s important to research which companies offer the most affordable rates for drivers with a DUI. For instance, Insurify research shows that Farmers, Clearcover, and State Farm are the most affordable insurers on average for drivers after a DUI.
2. Compare quotes
It’s always a good idea to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies to ensure you find the best deal. Each insurance company has its own method of determining how much your premiums will cost. Most base your rate on your coverage, deductible, age, credit-based insurance score, and driving history. Find quotes for drivers with a DUI from at least three different insurers.
3. Take advantage of discounts
Your insurance premiums will go up with a DUI, but you can still take advantage of discounts. For example, State Farm offers a discount on car insurance if you bundle it with other insurance policies such as home, renters, or life insurance. And Progressive offers discounts for signing up online, enrolling in paperless billing, and paying for your policy up front.
4. Get rid of unnecessary coverage
The amount of coverage you purchase affects how much you pay for insurance, so one of the easiest ways to cut costs is to get rid of any unnecessary coverage. If you don’t drive often, for example, removing collision and comprehensive coverage could help you save money. But it can leave you at greater financial risk if you need to file a claim.
5. Improve your credit score
California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Michigan prohibit insurance companies from using your credit history to determine your insurance premiums, while other states, like Oregon, restrict how and when they can use it. If you don’t live in one of these states, your credit score can be factored into what is known as a credit-based insurance score, which insurers consider when determining premiums.
Taking steps to improve your credit score could help you lower your insurance premiums. Make sure you pay your bills on time and pay down any high-interest credit card debt.
6. Practice safe driving
The best way to lower your insurance premiums over the long run is by practicing safe driving and avoiding additional infractions. A second DUI conviction could end up costing you your license. And additional infractions, like a speeding ticket or an at-fault accident, can cause your insurance rates to go up even more.
7. Continue to shop around
Your DUI could stay on your record for a long time, so it may continue to negatively affect your insurance premiums for years to come. The insurance company offering you the best rates today may not be the best option a year from now. It’s a good idea to continue to compare quotes whenever you renew your policy.
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DUI car insurance FAQs
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about DUI car insurance.
What happens to your car insurance after a DUI?
You can expect your car insurance rates to go up after getting a DUI since insurance companies will consider you a high-risk driver. Some insurance companies may even deny you coverage.
Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to file an SR-22 or FR-44 certificate, which proves that you have the minimum liability coverage required by your state.
Do you have to report a DUI to your insurance company?
Technically, no law requires you to tell your insurer that you’ve had a DUI conviction. That said, it may be a good idea to be up front about it. If your DUI requires you or another party to file an accident claim with your insurance company, it will come to light during the claims investigation process. And even if your DUI goes unnoticed for a while, it could come up if your insurance company reviews your driving record when you renew your policy. In that situation, the insurer could decline to renew your coverage. It could also come up when you apply for new coverage. Not disclosing a DUI on a policy application could be considered a fraudulent act.
How long will a DUI affect your car insurance rates?
You can expect a DUI to stay on your record for at least three years in most states, but it varies based on where you live. Many states require that a DUI stay on your driving record for at least 10 years. In states like Arizona and Alaska, a DUI stays on your record permanently and can't be expunged.
Is there a DUI insurance trick?
No, there’s no “trick” that will help you avoid the impact a DUI will have on your car insurance rates. Whether you notify your insurer of your DUI or wait for them to find out on their own, you’ll still face increased costs for car insurance. Your best bet for keeping down costs will be to comparison shop and review rates from multiple insurance companies to find the cheapest car insurance available to you after a DUI conviction.
What’s the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and DWI stands for “driving while impaired.” A DUI usually means the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while a DWI means the driver was driving while impaired or intoxicated. Depending on the state you live in, you may see impaired driving referred to as an OWI (operating while intoxicated) or OUI (operating under the influence).
All the terms apply to driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and you can be charged with one when a law enforcement officer can prove you’re too impaired to safely operate a vehicle. This typically means you have a BAC of .08% or higher.
DUI is the most common legal term and is used by more than half the states as well as by the District of Columbia, while only 10 states use DWI. But other states use different legal terms for charging people who drive while intoxicated. For example, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin use OWI, which means “operating while intoxicated.”
How long does a DUI stay on your criminal record?
How long a DUI stays on your criminal record depends on a variety of factors, like where you live and how many previous convictions you’ve had. But the penalties are usually severe, and a DUI can stay on your criminal record for a long time.
In California, Louisiana, Ohio, and Tennessee, a DUI stays on your record for 10 years. In Michigan, Nevada, and Washington, it’ll stay on your record for seven years. But if you live in Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, or Vermont, a DUI will stay on your criminal record forever.
Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.
Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).
Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:
Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible
Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.
Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based personal finance writer whose work has been featured on several of the top finance and business sites in the country, including Insider, Credit Karma, Bankrate, Rocket Mortgage, Fox Business, Quicken Loans, and The Balance. For the past six years, she's dedicated more than 10,000 hours of research and writing to more than 2,000 articles about personal finance topics.