How Does a DUI Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?
If you are convicted of (or plead guilty to) driving under the influence (DUI) in Colorado, various criminal and administrative sanctions may be imposed on you, including:
- 3-month revocation of your driver's license
- 12 points added to your driver's record
- $600 - $1,000 fine
- Incarceration for period of 5 days up to maximum of 1 year (jail time typically suspended for first offenders with blood alcohol content below 0.20%)
- Up to 96 hours of community service
- License reinstatement conditioned on completion of mandatory alcohol/substance abuse education (and use of ignition interlock device if your blood alcohol content exceeded 0.17)
You are a High-Risk Driver to Your Insurance Company
And when it's time to reinstate your driver's license, every insurance company will see you as a high-risk driver who has a greater chance of causing an accident and should pay higher premiums. Although insurance companies underwrite policies based on each driver's particular circumstances, generally speaking the annual premium increase for a first DUI offense will be between 30 and 50%.
You Will Be Required to File a Form SR-22
The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles will require you to obtain an SR-22 certificate as part of your license reinstatement after a DUI. The SR-22 provides the DMV with formal proof that you have sufficient insurance coverage, certifies that the insurance company will maintain the policy for at least 3 years so long as you continue to pay your premiums, and requires the insurance company to notify the DMV if your coverage lapses for any reason. Your insurer will add an additional charge to your policy to issue the SR-22 (typically $50 or less).
Other Factors That Will Determine Your Post-DUI Insurance Premiums
Premium hikes after a DUI offense are higher for younger drivers than more seasoned drivers. Drivers under 20 will typically see the largest premium increases from a DUI.
Some independent surveys have found an average 5% difference between the increases imposed on an 18-year old driver as compared to a 30-year old with a similar profile, but the post-DUI premium disparity can be greater depending on the company issuing the policies.
Another factor is the amount of time since your DUI offense. As a general rule, insurance companies underwrite your policy based on your driving record during the prior 3-5-year period. Although the DUI will remain on your record indefinitely, a consistently clean driving record will eventually reduce your annual premium back to its pre-DUI level. This process is also assisted by fact that insurance premiums also decrease as you age – older drivers are statistically safer than younger ones.
Number of DUIs
The number of DUI offenses a driver commits over a 3-year period is the biggest factor determining the annual premium. Multiple DUIs can cause premiums to double or triple.
Each insurance company will have different protocols for calculating premiums after a DUI and some factor them more strongly against the driver than others. Drivers seeking coverage after a DUI-related license reinstatement should shop around for the best rate.
About Levine Law
A Colorado Springs DUI accident lawyer can help you if you’ve been injured in an accident with a drunk or impaired driver. At Levine Law, we have 20+ years of experience making sure that DUI accident victims receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries and vehicle damage. And our no/win, no/fee policy means that you pay nothing to Levine Law unless you receive compensation.