Can A DUI Charge Affect A Car Insurance Policy?

When an individual is charged with a DUI, it will cause their insurance rates to increase.

Being pulled over for a DUI can be embarrassing and expensive in addition to the stress of potential legal ramifications. Unfortunately, that’s not all. Drivers facing DUI charges may also experience an increase in auto insurance rates. With so much to navigate, McClintock Law wants to help inform Illinois drivers on what to expect when charged with a DUI, how that charge can affect an individual’s insurance rates, and what to do if you’ve been pulled over for a DUI. 

Key Takeaways:

A DUI charge will cause an individual’s insurance rates to increase.

  • A person will be charged with a DUI if they are found to be driving while intoxicated.
  • A DUI charge will increase the driver’s insurance rates because the insurance agency will perceive them as high-risk. 
  • In Illinois, a driver can expect their insurance rates to stay inflated for up to five years depending on certain variables. 
  • There are several ways for a driver to lower their insurance rates after a DUI charge including, shopping around, looking for discounts, and proving that they are a safe driver. 
  • To avoid a DUI charge, an individual should always drive responsibly and have a plan for if they plan to go out drinking so they can get home safely. 

What is a DUI charge?

Someone is charged with a DUI when they are found to be driving while under the influence. A police officer will typically pull over an individual for suspicion of a DUI, and they will have them take a breathalyzer test to determine their BAC, or they may be asked to take a field sobriety test. If these findings are strong enough, the driver will have to go to court, where they will determine if they were driving while intoxicated. If they are found guilty, they will be charged with a DUI and can face legal repercussions, and it can dramatically change their insurance rates as well. 

How does a DUI charge affect insurance rates?

When an individual gets charged with a DUI, their insurance company will be notified of the incident. As soon as an insurance agency sees that a person has been charged with a DUI, they will consider them a high-risk driver. A high-risk driver is someone that the insurance company considers to be more likely to make a claim with them. 

If someone is driving while under the influence, their driving skills will become dramatically worse. It can impair their judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making them unsafe to be on the road. Because of this, the insurance company will no longer believe the driver to be a trustworthy and responsible driver, and they will fear that the driver will take out expensive claims with them. This means that the insurance company will heavily increase their insurance rates. In the state of Illinois, a driver who has a  DUI charge can expect their insurance rates to increase 83% compared to when they had a clean driving record. A DUI charge will make an individual’s insurance rates increase because the insurance agency no longer trusts the driver. 

How long will a DUI charge affect insurance rates?

After a driver’s insurance rates spikes, they may be wondering how long they are going to be paying the increased rates. In Illinois, drivers can typically expect a DUI charge to affect their insurance rates for up to five years, though how long it can affect insurance rates can change depending on several different variables. These different variables can include the driver’s age, driving history, and the severity of the offense. Then even when an individual’s insurance rates return to normal, they may still be illegible for different insurance discounts. A DUI charge can have a long-term effect on someone’s insurance rates because of the severity of the issue. 

Is it possible to lower insurance rates after a DUI charge?

While it may seem impossible, if a driver is charged with a DUI it still may be plausible for them to lower their insurance rates if they plan carefully. There are several different steps that they should take including:

  1. Shop around: If a driver is upset with how much their insurance rate increased, they should consider shopping around to look at different insurance agencies. This will allow the driver to compare different insurance premiums to find one that is more affordable. 
  2. Ask for discounts: Even with a DUI charge, a driver may be eligible for different insurance discounts. They may be able to get a discount for bundling their different insurance policies or paying their premium in full. Either way, a driver with a DUI charge should still check and see if they can get any discounts. 
  3. Prove they’re a good driver: A simple way for someone charged with a DUI to get their insurance rates to go down is to prove that they are a good driver. This means that the individual will have to keep their record clear of any further traffic violations. If they are able to maintain a good driving record, they will slowly transition into a low-risk tier, and their insurance company will lower their insurance rates. 

While getting charged with a DUI will increase an individual’s insurance rates, there are steps that they can take to begin to lower them once again. If a driver is able to plan accordingly, they will be able to get their insurance closer to what they were before the DUI charge. 

Why it is so important to drive responsibly

The easiest way to avoid increased insurance rates caused by a DUI charge is to drive responsibly. If an individual knows that they are intoxicated, there are several different ways that they can avoid driving while under the influence. One step that they can take is to make sure that they have a designated driver if they plan on drinking. There is never an excuse for drunk driving, and a simple plan can ensure that everyone gets home safely. 

If a driver ever gets pulled over for a suspected DUI, it is important that they call a lawyer as soon as possible. At McClintock Law, we want to be that first call that can help a driver through a DUI case. We understand that every case is different, and we’re willing to put time and effort into making sure that every client has the best possible defense. So if you’re looking for a lawyer that can help you through your DUI case, call us at (309)715-7181.

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