If you get a DUI in California, your auto insurance will get more expensive — it's just a question of how much you'll end up paying. Unfortunately for your wallet, California auto insurance rates are influenced markedly by a history of serious driving violations, compared against all other American states.
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How does a DUI influence car insurance in California?
In California, a DUI offense will increase your annual car insurance premium by an average of $3,154. That’s 68% more than the national average rate hike after a DUI.
CAR INSURANCE WITH A DUI IN CALIFORNIA — AVERAGE ANNUAL PENALTY
|Area||Avg. rate - no DUI||Avg. rate - with DUI||Avg. increase after DUI|
Getting auto insurance in California after a DUI conviction
Finding cheap car coverage after a DUI conviction is anything but straightforward. In fact, a DUI typically results in a more substantial cost increase than does any other driving violation — more than an at-fault accident, reckless driving, or racing. California is a very bad state in which to perpetrate a DUI: its insurance rate hikes are among the US' harshest.
Best car insurance with a DUI in California
If you’re found guilty of a driving under the influence violation in California, it’s key to weigh available insurance possibilities carefully. Car insurance rates in the wake of a DUI can deviate greatly depending on the company. For instance, the cheapest car insurance company with a DUI in California, Mercury, advertises annual rates 39% better than the state average insurance premium after a DUI conviction. The second-cheapest choice for auto insurance after a DUI in California is GEICO, while the most expensive firm is Allstate, with rates 37% above the mean.
CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER A DUI IN CALIFORNIA — BY COMPANY
|Insurance company||Avg. rate after DUI|
There’s no auto insurance company specifically offering low-cost DUI auto insurance. The easiest way to save money in the wake of a DUI citation is to shop around.
Find quotes online or contact an insurance agent to gauge the choices and find the best plan.
Learn more on auto insurance after a DUI conviction.
California DUI laws
You're considered to be driving under the influence in California if your blood alcohol concentration reads 0.08% or higher. Commercial drivers are subject to an even stricter BAC limit of 0.04% or higher. Drivers younger than 21 years old are DUI in California if their BAC reads 0.01% or higher.
Recent changes to the law in California have made it illegal to transport a passenger for hire if your BAC is 0.04% or higher.
California deems a driver DUI if any drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications are impacting your ability to drive.
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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.
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