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For How Long Will a DUI Hurt My Insurance Rates?

Suppose you’re facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Orange County. You’re aware that a DUI conviction would lead to a troubling auto insurance rate hike, but for how long? In this post, we explain for how long a California DUI impacts a driver’s auto insurance premiums, as well as provide some FAQs on general DUI. 

How Long Does DUI Affect Insurance in California?

On January 1, 2007, new legislation extended the reporting period for DUIs in California from 7 years to 10 years. This means that when an insurance company runs a person’s driving record, they will be able to see the DUI for 10 years and you will not qualify for any insurance discounts until the DUI falls off your record in 10 years.

Do I Have to Report My DUI to My Insurance Company?

You are not legally required to call your auto insurance company and tell them about your DUI conviction. 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.

What If I Was Only Arrested and Not Convicted?

If you are simply arrested for DUI, there shouldn’t be any insurance consequences. If you hire an attorney, you may be able to successfully beat your DUI charges, or they may be reduced to wet reckless through a plea bargain. Or, you may win the DMV hearing.

How Will the Insurance Company Find Out About My DUI?

If you are convicted of DUI, your insurance company will eventually find out about it by running people’s driving record when their policy is up for a renewal, or when the policyholder is shopping out better rates and applying for new coverage.

Insurance companies find out about DUIs because the California Department of Motor Vehicles requires people to obtain an SR 22, a certificate of insurance proving that the driver meets the state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage. The only way to obtain an SR 22 is through your auto insurance company, so this is when insurance companies typically find out about the DUI.

 What Will Happen to My Good Driver Discount?

Let’s say you’ve been getting the Good Driver Discount. Once you have a DUI conviction, you automatically disqualify for this discount. Under California law, you won’t qualify for the Good Driver Discount until it’s been 10 years since your DUI arrest.

Since you no longer qualify for the Good Driver Discount, your premium will increase by 20 to 30%. In addition to obtaining the SR 22, you’ll have to pay higher premiums because the DUI conviction labels you a “high risk” driver, which can increase your yearly premium as much as $800 annually for the three years you’re required to maintain an SR 22.

Once it’s been 10 years since your DUI arrest, the DMV will stop reporting it on your driving record. Then, you’ll be eligible for the Good Driver Discount, assuming you’ve been a “good driver” since your DUI arrest.

Arrested for DUI in Orange County? To protect your future and your insurance rates, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today!