North Carolina Car Insurance with a DUI

If you get a DUI in North Carolina, your auto insurance is going to be more expensive — it's just a question of by how much.


How does getting a DUI alter car insurance in North Carolina?


In North Carolina, a DUI will increase your annual car insurance rate by an average value of $3,416. That’s 68% more than the U.S. average rate hike after a DUI.


AUTO INSURANCE AFTER A DUI IN NORTH CAROLINA — AVERAGE ANNUAL PENALTY
AreaAvg. Annual Rate — no DUIAvg. Annual Rate — with DUIAvg. Increase After DUI
North Carolina$955$4,371+358%
United States$1,548$2,556+65%

Getting auto insurance in North Carolina with a DUI conviction


Getting cheap auto insurance after a DUI conviction isn’t an easy task. In fact, a DUI typically results in a larger cost increase than does any other road violation — more than an at-fault accident, reckless driving, or racing. North Carolina is an exceedingly unfortunate place in which to commit a DUI: its insurance price hikes are some of the nation's stiffest.


Best car insurance with a DUI in North Carolina

If you have been convicted of a driving under the influence violation in North Carolina, it’s essential to examine your insurance choices thoroughly. Car insurance rates after a DUI can fluctuate widely depending on the company. For instance, the cheapest car insurer after a DUI in North Carolina, North Carolina Farm Bureau, provides annual premiums 28% less than the state average insurance premium with a DUI. The next-cheapest insurer for car insurance after a DUI in North Carolina is Erie, while the most expensive insurer is Allstate, with prices 66% above average.


CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER DUI IN NORTH CAROLINA — BY COMPANY
Insurance CompanyAvg. Annual Rate — with DUI
North Carolina Farm Bureau$3,147
Erie$3,524
State Farm$3,719
GEICO$4,085
Nationwide$4,353
Progressive$4,502

There’s no auto insurance company in particular that offers affordable DUI car insurance. The easiest way to save post-DUI citation is to assess your options.

Compare car insurance policies online or contact an insurance agent to assess the choices and find a sensible plan.

Learn more about car insurance and DUIs.

Looking for a new policy? Find cheap auto insurance today!

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North Carolina DWI laws

Driving under the influence is commonly referred to as driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in North Carolina. Drivers are DWI when their blood alcohol concentration measures 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers are DWI in North Carolina if their BAC reads 0.04% or higher.

Underage drivers are DWI if any detectable or suspected intoxicants are found in their system.

If a driver has been previously convicted of a DWI after July 1, 2001, they are considered DWI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher.


Penalties for DWI in North Carolina

North Carolina has a seven-year lookback period. Each subsequent DWI within a seven-year period leads to enhanced penalties.

There are five levels of misdemeanor DWI offenses in North Carolina. Judges use mitigating factors to determine which level to apply to an intoxicated individual. Such mitigating factors include:

  • The driver's BAC
  • The driver's driving record
  • Level of observable impairment
  • Voluntary submission or participation in assessment and treatment
  • And other factors

Judges will also consider the aggravating factors when determining an offender's level. These include:

  • BAC level
  • Observable inability to drive safely
  • DWI leading to an accident
  • Previous DWI offenses
  • Speeding
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • And other factors

In general, if there are more mitigating factors than aggravating factors, an offender's DWI offense level is less harsh — perhaps a level IV or V. If there are more aggravating factors in a given situation, punishment is harsher and the offender is more likely to be given a level III offense at best or level I offense at worst.

A level V DWI offense in North Carolina leads to:

  • 24 hours to 60 days in jail or 24 hours in jail and 24 hours of community service (if sentence is suspended)
  • Up to $200 in fines
  • License revocation for 30 days to one year
  • May require a substance abuse assessment

A level IV DWI offense in North Carolina results in:

  • 48 hours to 120 days in jail or 48 hours in jail and 48 hours of community service (if sentence is suspended)
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • License revocation for 30 days to four years, if offense occurred within three years of a prior offense
  • May require a substance abuse assessment

Penalties for a level III DWI offense in North Carolina are:

  • 72 hours to six months in jail or 72 hours in jail and 72 hours of community service (if sentence is suspended)
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Permanent license revocation
  • May require a substance abuse assessment

A level II DWI offense in North Carolina results in:

  • Seven days to one year in jail without the possibility of a suspended sentence
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Must complete a substance abuse assessment

A level I DWI offense in North Carolina is the most severe and results in:

  • 30 days to two years in jail without the possibility of a suspended sentence
  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Must complete a substance abuse assessment

Interlock ignition devices are required for any offender whose BAC is 0.15% or higher at the time of arrest or who has been convicted of two DWIs within seven years.

Three or more DWI convictions within seven years is a felony. Violators are declared “habitual offenders” in North Carolina and must serve at least one year in jail and complete a substance abuse program while serving.

Driving with a revoked license may lead to forfeiture of the offender's vehicle.


DWI penalties for underage drinkers in North Carolina

It is not allowed for those under the legal drinking age of 21 to drive while intoxicated in North Carolina. An underage driver is considered DWI even with only the smell of alcohol on their breath.

An underage DWI is a misdemeanor in North Carolina.

Underage DWI offenders will have a pretrial license revocation for a period of 30 days, followed by a period of one year if convicted.

Sources and references:

https://www.ncdps.gov/our-organization/law-enforcement/state-highway-patrol/faq/driving-while-impaired

https://www.dmv.org/nc-north-carolina/automotive-law/dui.php

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/drunk-driving/driving-alcohol-laws/north-carolina.html

Ross Martin LinkedIn

As a licensed insurance agent, Ross is responsible for researching and writing about all matters related to auto and home 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.