The True Cost of a DUI

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a major offense. Offenders may face jail time, a prison sentence and tens of thousands in fines. But how will a DUI impact a driver’s auto insurance premium?

Cost of a DUI

How much does a DUI really cost? According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the full cost of a DUI will total $14,660. The impact a DUI can have on your driving record is monumental. First-time offenders will likely be charged thousands of dollars in fines, fees and other charges. And unless the driver lives in a city with a superb regional transit system, he or she will be without adequate transportation to and from work.

Auto Insurance Following a DUI

Auto insurance rates will soar following a DUI conviction. Convicted drivers will be considered “high-risk” and will likely need to purchase an SR22 or other high-risk coverage to remain insured. If the driver had auto insurance at the time of their DUI, the insurer may opt to cancel or non-renew their coverage. Even worse, a DUI can linger on a driver’s record for up to seven years, so higher auto insurance rates may plague the driver for years. If tickets or accidents are already on the driver’s record, rates may be astronomical.

Legal Consequences

Don’t forget: a DUI is a major criminal offense. Those convicted of a DUI may face jail time, revocation of their driver’s license, legal probation, mandatory community service, a mandate to attend alcohol and drug education courses, treatment for substance, court and legal fees, attorney fees and much more.

Convicted of a DUI? You Can Still Save on Auto Insurance

A driver convicted of a DUI will see an increase in his auto insurance rate—this is unavoidable. But there are steps drivers can take to minimize the damage and secure relatively affordable coverage. For starters, shop around. Compare quotes from a wide range of auto insurance companies. Not all insurers view DUIs the same way, and high-risk drivers could find a surprisingly affordable rate if they shop around and compare quotes from dozens of companies.