Skip to main content

California DUI Complicates Auto Insurance

car insuranceOnce a driver is convicted of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), his or her struggles have often only begun. Aside from the stress of going to court and will have to undertake a number of steps before being allowed to drive once again.

A DUI remains on a driver’s record for ten years. After the DUI, it is not uncommon for the driver’s insurance company to drop their coverage. It can be a struggle to get insurance through another company, and rates will be considerably higher until the DUI finally drops off the driver’s record.

The first step to regaining driving privileges after a DUI is to find an insurance company which will issue a SR-22 form (proof of financial liability) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At this point, it’s important to shop around for the best possible rate, because the driver will be required to continue using a SR-22 insurer for the next ten years.

Once the SR-22 has been filed, the driver can have his or her license reinstated with the California DMV. It is very important for the driver to remain continuously insured for the next ten years, or the DMV will revoke the license once again. Further violations of the law should be avoided during this time, to prevent the insurer from dropping coverage.

In some cases an ignition interlock device will be required by the court in order for driving privileges to be reinstated. This device is basically a breathalyzer installed on the dashboard, which prevents the car from starting if the driver is under the influence of alcohol. While it is rare for the court to make this requirement of first-time DUI offenders, it is common for those with repeat violations of the law.