California Car Insurance with a DUI

If you receive a DUI in California, your auto insurance is going to be more expensive — it's just a matter of how much you'll end up paying.

How does a DUI alter car insurance in California?

In California, a DUI will increase your annual car insurance premium by an average value of $3,069. That’s 64% more than the national average premium hike after a DUI.

LocationAvg. Annual Rate — without DUIAvg. Annual Rate — with DUIAvg. Increase After DUI
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.

Insurance CompanyAvg. Annual Rate — After DUI
State Farm$7,286

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.

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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:

The Zebra

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