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How Does DUI Affect Auto Insurance?

If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, you’re probably in panic mode about now. “Will I go to jail? Will I lose my driver’s license? Will my auto insurance premiums shoot through the roof?” These are all valid questions indeed, but for the purposes of this post we’re going to focus on how a DUI conviction affects auto insurance.

According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, “Beginning January 1, 2007, if you request an out-of-house/public driving record printout, any DUI offense on your record will appear from 10 years from the violation date.” In plain English, this means that your DUI will be reported on your driving record for 10 years. So, whenever your auto insurance is up for renewal, or whenever you apply for new auto insurance, the insurance company will see your DUI conviction.

You Become a High Risk Driver

We’ll tell you right now that your insurance company will find out about your DUI and here’s why: In order to drive after a DUI conviction, you have to obtain an SR-22 certificate, which notifies the DMV that you are carrying the minimum amount of insurance that is required by California law. Your insurance company provides this certificate to the DMV. Also, DUIs are reported on driving records, so insurance companies always find out eventually. The timing however, can vary.

Depending on your insurance company, it may decide to cut you loose after it learns about your DUI. Or, if it does keep you, then you can expect your insurance premiums to increase dramatically. Because you have a DUI on your record, you will likely be labeled “high risk” by your insurance company, which leads to expensive insurance premiums.

If your insurance company decides to drop you because of your DUI, be sure to shop around for competitive rates. Be prepared – a DUI conviction will lead to higher insurance rates for years, especially because the DUI will be reported on your driving record for 10 years and there’s NO way to get the DUI off your record any sooner. Just be glad you live in California; some states report them for much longer!

Facing DUI charges in Orange County? Contact our office to schedule a free consultation!