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How Drunk Driving Affects Insurance Rates

Drunk driving adversely affects the insurance terms and cost, much to the detriment of the individual finances. Though insurance companies act differently in compliance with the DUI infraction, those who choose to retain their client will charge an extra $5,000+ on the high end. This is necessitated by the affected client’s enlistment under the “high risk” division. Some insurance companies however opt to drop the client altogether. Worth noting though, the average premium for a typical one car/one driver policy may rise by only a couple hundred dollars


Being a high-risk client is an expensive affair; the monthly premium instantly doubles, triples or in extreme cases, quadruples. As an additional penalty, any safe driving or preferred discounts that were previously being enjoyed by the driver are withdrawn. With 90,000 Americans scourging the internet each month researching on how DUI affects insurance terms, this is a hot topic that’s complicated further by multiple charges imposed on DUI offenders. Charges include;


· Bail - $150 - $2,000

· Towing and Impound - $100 - $1,000

· Licensing Fees - $150

· Court Fines - $1,000

· Ignition Lock - $250

· Alcohol Treatment & Education - $1,000

· Added Insurance Costs - $5,000+

All these total to $10,000 - $15,000.


Though appearing in a vague stance, DUI insurance’ policies do exist in insurance companies. Basically, they are regular auto liability policies only that they are charged double or triple the amount levied against a driver with a clean record. In all states excluding Kentucky, Delaware, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, the DUI offender is legally compelled to file a Proof of Financial Responsibility’ form otherwise known as the SR-22 form. The form certifies that the driver has procured the state’s minimum requisite liability insurance. Though all other drivers are subjected to carrying this insurance levels, drunk driving makes it mandatory for the driver to fill their state’s SR-22 form with the state’s DMV. Other less common forms DUI offenders are required to fill are an FR-44 in Florida and Virginia and an FR-19 in Maryland or Delaware, all of which serve the same purpose.


Depending on the driver’s state of residence, it takes 3-7 years for the charge to clear from his/her record, a period within which the driver is charged exponentially more on insurance. The DUI infraction might however remain in the driver’s criminal record indefinitely. Would this be the case, the driver has the option of either expunging the infraction from the criminal record or having it listed under sealed records’; these can only be accessed by law enforcement officers and not to potential employees, credit card issuers or insurers conducting a background check on the driver. After the charge is cleared from the driver’s record, the insurance rates return to normal with the driver now able to enjoy discounted prices.


With more than 30,000 lives being lost over the past 3 years due to drunk driving, insurance companies are extremely wary of drivers whose records cite DUI infractions. Credible research has proven that drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.09 or higher will 11 times more likely cause a tragic car accident. In all the 50 states, the legal BAC threshold has been standardized at 0.08%. Since insurers heavily rely on such statistics to gauge the risk-level of covering a driver, that automatically translates to higher insurance charges. The first year of being served with a DUI infraction results in an average spike of 94.13% in insurance, a figure which drops to about 63.47% by the third year.


Most insurance companies define an accident caused by drunk driving as an intentional’ accident and won’t cover the resulting claims. In the case of an accidental’ accident however, the claim is given. When a friend gets into an accident due to drunk driving or at the least gets stamped with a DUI infraction, your insurance is not affected but the friend’s is. If the insurance company notes that you and your friend share the same address, they might impose a stiffer penalty since your friend has a higher likelihood of driving your car again after the issuance of a DUI infraction.


If you get a DUI when driving your parent’s car, the insurance rates on your parents car will increased if you are a named insured in the car’s insurance policies. Once convicted, the judge will most likely legally compel you to install an ignition lock, a cost the court won’t cover. Having a DUI expunged from one’s criminal records is a painstaking process across all states. Even when the DUI has been expunged, it is still pitched as sufficient proof of a former conviction’.