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How Long Does DUI Affect Auto Insurance Rates?

If you’re convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you face the possibility of fines, DUI probation, DUI School, driver license suspension, and a criminal record. While there will be costly short-term consequences, such as the court-ordered fines and auto insurance hikes, you’ll have to deal with the stigma of a criminal record, which can affect higher education, employment, and professional licenses. However, this stigma can be minimized through an expungement.

If you’re a first-time DUI offender, you’re probably wondering, “How long will a DUI affect my auto insurance premiums?” and this is a very good question. In this post, we are going to fully explain how DUI convictions affect auto insurance.

Do I Have to Tell My Insurance Company?

If you are arrested for DUI, you are under no obligation to pick up the phone and tell your insurance provider that you are facing DUI charges. However, if you are convicted of DUI, your insurance provider is going to find out about the DUI sooner or later. This is because once someone is convicted of DUI, he or she is required to obtain an SR-22 certificate in order to reinstate their driver license. Otherwise, they will find out when your policy is up for renewal and they run a check on your driving record.

The SR-22 certificate is obtained from your auto insurance company and it verifies with the DMV that you have purchased the state’s minimum auto liability insurance. You auto insurance company is the one that forwards the SR-22 to the DMV; drivers don’t handle this themselves.

If you are convicted of DUI, you will be required to maintain an SR-22 for three years, and you will have to maintain an SR-22 on all vehicles registered in your name and on all vehicles driven by you.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on My Record?

If you are found guilty of DUI, it will stay on your driving record for 10 years. While you only have to carry a California SR-22 certificate for three years, you will not be eligible for any insurance discounts until the DUI falls off your record (10 years). A criminal conviction on the other hand, stays on your criminal record indefinitely unless you have it expunged under Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.

Related: California SR-22 Requirements for DUI

Facing DUI charges in Orange County? The best way to avoid insurance hikes is to beat your DUI in the first place. To learn more, contact our office to meet with a board-certified DUI defense expert for free.