California Car Insurance with a DUI

If you receive a DUI or DWI in California, your auto insurance rates are bound to rise: it's just a question of how much extra you'll pay. If you're convicted of a DUI violation, it's important to shop wisely and compare insurance rates to find the cheapest option.


How to find affordable car insurance in California after a DUI


Finding cheap car insurance in the wake of a DUI conviction is not straightforward. In fact, a DUI typically leads to a bigger premium increase than any single road transgression — more than reckless driving, racing, or an at-fault accident. California is an exceedingly bad state in which to be convicted of a DUI: its insurance rate raises are some of the nation's most severe.


The best auto insurance after a DUI in California

If you’re found guilty of a DUI or DWI offense in California, it’s important to weigh your insurance choices with care. Auto insurance rates after a DUI can vary greatly depending on the company. For instance, the most affordable auto insurance company after a DUI in California, Mercury, offers annual rates 52% below the state average insurance price with a DUI. The second-cheapest company for car insurance with a DUI in California is Infinity, while the most expensive firm is Allstate, with rates 66% above the mean.


CHEAP AUTO INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DRIVERS AFTER A DUI
Insurance CompanyAvg. Annual Rate — After DUI
Mercury$2,369
Infinity$2,756
GEICO$3,230
Alliance$4,312
Farmers$4,357
AAA$5,188
State Farm$7,286
CSAA$7,340

There is no auto insurer in particular that sells low-cost DUI car insurance. The easiest way to save after a DUI citation is to compare policies.

Compare auto insurance quotes online or contact an insurance expert to shop the market and find a cost-effective option.


How does a DUI impact car insurance rates in California?


In California, a DUI violation can boost your annual car insurance cost by an average of $3,069. That’s 64% more than the national average rate hike following a DUI.


CAR INSURANCE AFTER A DUI IN CALIFORNIA — AVERAGE ANNUAL PENALTY
LocationAvg. Annual Rate — no DUIAvg. Annual Rate — with DUIAvg. Increase After DUI
California$1,868$4,937+164%
United States$1,548$2,556+65%

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How to find car insurance in California after a DUI

Purchasing affordable auto insurance in the wake of a DUI offense isn’t easy. In fact, a DUI generally results in a greater rate increase than any other driving violation — more than an at-fault accident, reckless driving, or racing. California is a very poor place in which to be convicted of a DUI: its insurance rate raises are among the nation's harshest.


Best car insurance with a DUI in California

If you've been convicted of driving under the influence in California, it is important to weigh your insurance options judiciously. Car insurance rates after a DUI often vary substantially depending on the company. For example, the cheapest car insurance company with a DUI in California, Mercury, provides annual rates 52% better than the statewide average insurance premium with a DUI violation. The next-most affordable insurer for car insurance after a DUI in California is Infinity, while the priciest company is Allstate, with rates 66% pricer than average.


CAR INSURANCE PRICES WITH DUI IN CALIFORNIA — BY COMPANY
Insurance CompanyAvg. Annual Rate — After DUI
Mercury$2,369
Infinity$2,756
GEICO$3,230
Alliance$4,312
Farmers$4,357
AAA$5,188
State Farm$7,286
CSAA$7,340

There’s no auto insurance company, in particular, offering affordable DUI car insurance. The best strategy to save money post-DUI conviction is to shop around.

Compare auto insurance quotes online or contact your insurance agent to shop the market and find a cost-effective DUI insurance policy.

Learn more about car insurance and DUI infractions.

Find affordable car insurance with a DUI today!

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DUI penalties in California

California's lookback period is 10 years. Repeated DUI offenses within this period will lead to more severe fines and penalties.

First-time DUI offenses in California will result in:

  • Fines of $390 to $1,000
  • 48 hours to six months in jail
  • License suspension for six months
  • The possible requirement of an interlock ignition device for five months to three years
  • Attendance in a DUI program (length determined based on BAC)

A second DUI offense in California leads to:

  • Fines of $390 to $1,000
  • 96 hours to one year in jail
  • License suspension for two years
  • The possible requirement of an interlock ignition device for one to three years
  • 18 to 30 months in a DUI program

A third DUI conviction in California results in:

  • Fines between $390 and $1800
  • 120 days to one year in jail
  • License suspension for three years
  • Mandatory IID use for two to three years
  • 30 months in a DUI program

Judges may choose to forego jail time in lieu of probation, particularly for first-time DUI offenders. Additionally, offenders may serve time via house arrest or alternative work programs instead of jail.

First-, second-, and third-offense DUI convictions are usually considered misdemeanors. If a DUI in California results in injury, however, it may be treated as a felony. Causing a fatality by driving under the influence is generally prosecuted under California's vehicular manslaughter or murder laws.


DUI penalties for underage drinkers in California

California is a zero-tolerance state when it comes to underage drinking. Those under 21 years old and found to have a BAC of 0.01% or higher are considered DUI.

First-time underage DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.01% or higher face:

  • An infraction
  • Up to $250 in fines
  • A suspended license for a minimum of one year

First-time underage DUI offenders with a BAC of 0.05% or higher face:

  • An infraction and underage DUI charge
  • $100 to $300 in fines
  • A one-year license suspension
  • Required completion of an alcohol education program if between 18 and 21 years old

Multiple underage DUI charges may earn enough demerit points to result in a license suspension.

Committing a DUI offense with a BAC of 0.08% or higher will subject the underage driver to the fines and penalties of a standard DUI offense.

Sources and references:

https://www.dmv.org/ca-california/automotive-law/dui.php

https://dui.drivinglaws.org/california.php

https://dui.findlaw.com/dui-laws-resources/california-dui-laws.html

https://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-laws-state/penalties-dui-california.htm

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/2017/2017_94

https://www.shouselaw.com/dui-under-21.html

https://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-and-dwi/dui-laws-state/california-underage-dui.htm

Ross Martin
Ross Martin LinkedIn

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross is responsible for researching and writing about all matters related to insurance. He has a background in writing and education, as well as a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been quoted by CNET, iDriveSafely.com and Kin Insurance.