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Bliss Lavelle

Recovery Writer and Advocate

Last Update on June 18, 2024

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Getting behind the wheel while under the influence can have serious consequences, not just for your safety and the safety of others but also for your finances. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you can expect your car insurance rates to skyrocket. But how DUI affects car insurance, and for how long? 

How long does a DUI Affect My Insurance?

Understanding the duration of a DUI impacts your insurance is truly important. Typically, a DUI can stay on your driving record for up to 10 years in some states, directly influencing your insurance rates for as long. The length of time a DUI is visible to insurers correlates strongly with how long they will consider you a high-risk driver, leading to elevated insurance premiums. This extended period of higher rates underscores the serious financial consequences of driving under the influence .1

A DUI typically stays on a driver’s record for 10 years but usually affects insurance premiums for a period ranging from five to seven years. This question seeks to clarify the specific duration for which a DUI conviction can lead to higher car insurance rates for drivers in the state of Arizona, highlighting the long-term financial consequences of such an offense.
In the state of Arizona, a DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record permanently, as there is no legal mechanism for expunging or sealing adult criminal records. This means that the conviction will be visible to anyone conducting a background check indefinitely.
Arizona law does not provide any means for DUI convictions to be sealed or expunged from an individual’s criminal record. This meant that the conviction would remain visible on background checks indefinitely. However, under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) § 13-907, individuals with DUI convictions may be eligible for a “set aside.” In this process, the court system will set aside the guilty verdict and dismiss the case. It’s important to understand that a “set aside” does not equate to a complete removal of the conviction from the criminal record. Instead, it indicates that the person has fulfilled all the requirements of their sentence and has been discharged by the court.

How long after a DUI does your insurance go down?

Once you have a DUI on your record, it’s natural to wonder when you might see your car insurance rates start to decrease. Generally, insurance rates may decline after 3 to 5 years if you maintain a clean driving record post-DUI. This reduction is contingent upon no further violations being recorded.

  • Timeline: Insurance premiums typically decrease 3-5 years after a DUI, assuming no further driving infractions.
  • Maintaining a Clean Record: A spotless driving history post-DUI is really important to reducing rates.
  • Educational Programs: Completing DUI education programs can positively influence insurers, demonstrating your commitment to safe driving.2

However, it’s important to remember that the exact timeline for insurance rates to decrease after a DUI can vary depending on several factors, such as your specific insurance company’s policies, the severity of your DUI offense, your overall driving record, and history, and the state you live in and its particular laws regarding DUIs. To better understand when you can expect your insurance rates to go down after a DUI, it’s best to speak directly with your insurance provider. They can give you a more personalized estimate based on your unique circumstances.

How much will insurance increase after DUI?

Following a DUI conviction, you might see your car insurance rates soar by 80-100%. This significant increase reflects the heightened risk you now pose to insurers.
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How does a DUI affect your car insurance premiums?

A DUI conviction marks your driving record and significantly recalibrates your car insurance premiums. Insurers reassess your risk level, factoring in the details of the DUI incident to determine new premium rates.

  • Risk Assessment: Post-DUI, insurers evaluate how severe the incident was and your overall risk profile. This includes examining the specifics of the DUI, like blood alcohol content level and whether it involved any accidents.
  • Severity of Incident: The gravity of the DUI plays a vital role in adjusting your premiums. More severe incidents typically lead to higher rate increases and could extend the duration of these elevated rates.3
  • Long-Term Impact: Depending on the severity and your subsequent driving record, increased premiums can last several years, significantly affecting your financial situation.

After a DUI, your car insurance premiums are recalculated to reflect your heightened risk status. Understanding these changes can help you navigate the financial repercussions more effectively and plan for higher expenses in the coming years. It’s important to communicate openly with your insurer about the incident and explore ways to mitigate the impact on your premiums, such as completing a safe driving course or installing an ignition interlock device. While a DUI will undoubtedly affect your car insurance rates, being proactive and demonstrating a commitment to safe driving can help you manage these costs over time.

Got a DUI? Learn about our DUI screenings and classes in Arizona!

The Impact of a DUI on Your Car Insurance Rates

The financial consequences of a DUI extend beyond initial legal fees and fines; they significantly affect your car insurance rates over time. The extent of these changes can vary considerably based on where you live due to differences in state laws and insurance regulations.

  • State Variation: Car insurance rates increase after a DUI and are not uniform across the country. Each state has its legal and insurance frameworks, meaning that the impact on your premiums could differ markedly depending on your residence.
  • Statistical Data: Your rates might increase significantly on average, but this can vary widely from one state to another, reflecting the diverse legal environments.
  • Long-Term Costs: The increased premiums that follow a DUI conviction can accumulate, resulting in substantial financial strain over time. For instance, over a decade, these additional costs can amount to thousands of dollars more than what a driver with a clean record would pay 4.

Understanding the state-specific and long-term implications of increased insurance rates after a DUI can help you better prepare for the financial impact. It’s advisable to consult with insurance experts in your area to get a clearer picture of what to expect and how best to manage the situation.

Quick Tip

Does a DUI appear on background checks in Arizona?

Absolutely. Under Arizona law, employers are allowed to perform background checks, which encompass criminal history checks, when hiring new employees. A DUI conviction will show up on these background checks unless the record has been officially expunged or set aside by the court.

DUI Conviction and Insurance Claims

A DUI conviction can significantly complicate the insurance claims process, as insurers view drivers with such convictions as higher-risk individuals. When a driver with a DUI conviction files a claim, they may face increased scrutiny, potential claim denials, and higher out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Heightened Scrutiny: Insurers often place claims from drivers with DUI convictions under a more rigorous evaluation process. They may investigate the claim more thoroughly to determine fault and assess the impact of the DUI conviction on the incident.
  • Higher Risk Assessment: A DUI conviction categorizes a driver as high-risk, which can influence an insurer’s decision to approve or deny a claim. This heightened risk assessment may also result in higher deductibles, requiring the driver to pay more out-of-pocket when filing a claim.
  • Potential Claim Denials: In some cases, insurers may choose to deny claims outright due to the increased risk associated with insuring a driver with a DUI conviction. The specific circumstances of the incident and the terms of the insurance policy will play a role in determining whether a claim is denied.
  • Increased Financial Burden: Even if a claim is approved, drivers with DUI convictions may face higher deductibles, meaning they’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. This increased financial responsibility directly results from the heightened risk the insurer assumes by covering a driver with a DUI.

When navigating insurance claims after a DUI conviction, it’s essential to understand these potential challenges. Being prepared for increased scrutiny, possible claim denials, and higher out-of-pocket expenses can help you better manage the financial impact of a DUI on your insurance coverage. It’s also essential to communicate openly with your insurer about your conviction and work with them to find the best path forward for your situation.

Key Takeaways

DUI Violation and Insurance Coverage

A DUI violation can lead to substantial changes in your insurance policy terms, including restrictions or additional requirements to maintain coverage. Understanding these changes is crucial to managing your insurance effectively after a DUI.

  • Coverage Exclusions: Following a DUI, some insurance policies may include clauses that specifically exclude coverage for any incidents that occur while the driver is under the influence. This means that if you are involved in an accident while impaired, your insurer may refuse to cover any damages or injuries that result.
  • Financial Responsibility Forms: In many states, a DUI conviction requires filing an SR-22 or FR-44 form.
  • SR-22: A certificate of financial responsibility that your insurance company must file with the state. It proves that you are carrying at least the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage.
  • FR-44: Similar to the SR-22 but generally requires higher liability coverage limits. It is necessary in certain states and specifically for DUI convictions.
  • Maintaining Coverage: Failing to maintain the required SR-22 or FR-44 forms when mandated can result in serious legal consequences, such as license suspension. It’s essential to work closely with your insurer to ensure these forms are filed and maintained correctly.
  • Policy Review: After a DUI, it’s important to carefully review your insurance policy to understand any changes in coverage or requirements. Some insurers may limit or exclude certain types of coverage for drivers with a DUI conviction, so it’s important to be aware of these changes and adjust your coverage if necessary.

Understanding the specific terms of your policy and any additional requirements can help you avoid further complications with your insurance coverage after a DUI. It’s recommended to have open and honest conversations with your insurer about your situation and work together to find the best solution for maintaining adequate coverage while meeting any legal requirements related to your DUI conviction.

Arrested for DUI in Arizona?

Cornerstone offers a lifeline with certified DUI classes and screenings—take the first step towards putting this behind you.

DUI-related Insurance Penalties

A DUI conviction doesn’t just raise your insurance rates; it can also trigger severe penalties from your insurance provider and the legal system. These penalties can dramatically alter your ability to maintain or secure insurance coverage.

  • Insurance Penalties: The most direct penalties from your insurance company may include:
  • Policy Non-Renewal: Some insurers may choose not to renew your policy at the end of its term due to the increased risk of insuring a driver with a DUI conviction.
  • Policy Cancellation: In more severe cases, insurers may outright cancel your policy following a DUI conviction, leaving you without coverage and in need of a new policy from another provider, often at a significantly higher cost.
  • Legal Consequences: Beyond the insurance implications, legal penalties also heavily impact your financial situation:
  • Fines: DUI convictions typically come with hefty penalties, adding immediate financial strain.
  • License Suspensions: Losing your driving privileges can indirectly affect your insurance costs. Not only does this impact your current rates, but it also affects your insurance history, which insurers consider when setting future premiums.

DUI offenses have severe consequences that extend beyond just increased insurance costs. The combination of higher premiums, potential loss of coverage, legal fines, and license suspensions can significantly impact your financial well-being.5 The specific penalties you face may vary depending on the severity of the offense, your driving history, and state laws. If you’re facing DUI-related insurance penalties, it’s extremely important to communicate with your insurer, explore coverage options, and take proactive steps to demonstrate your commitment to safe driving, which may help mitigate some of the penalties you face.

How We Cornerstone Can Help

DUI convictions carry severe penalties that can have a lasting impact on your life. From skyrocketing car insurance rates and potential policy cancellations to legal consequences like fines and license suspensions, a DUI can strain your finances and restrict your driving privileges. Managing these repercussions requires understanding the full scope of a DUI’s impact and taking proactive steps to address them.

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction or facing a DUI charge, it’s so important to seek help from experienced professionals. At Cornerstone Healing Center, we offer comprehensive support for individuals dealing with substance abuse issues, including specialized DUI online services. Our team can guide you through the legal process, help you understand the implications for your insurance, and provide the tools and resources you need to overcome addiction and move forward positively.

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Author & Reviewers

bliss lavelle addiction, mental health, and recovery writer
RECOVERY WRITER & ADVOCATE

Bliss Lavelle, an aspiring writer, draws inspiration from her mother’s journey with addiction, mental health, and recovery to support and educate others, especially young adults, about the dangers of substance abuse, the importance of mental health awareness, and getting help through evidence-based treatment. 

CLINICAL DIRECTOR & REVIEWER

Lionel is the Clinical Director of Cornerstone’s Scottsdale treatment facilities. He has had over 4 years at Cornerstone. He is personally in recovery and passionate about helping others overcome substance abuse and mental health challenges; he is trained as an EMDR, adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues.

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