North Carolina Car Insurance with a DUI

The Zebra
Aug. 24, 2018

If you happen to get a DUI in North Carolina, your auto insurance is going to get pricier — it's just a matter of how much you'll end up paying. In fact, North Carolina auto insurance premiums are affected greatly by one's DUI history, versus other US states.


How does being convicted of DUI impact car insurance in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a DUI will lift your annual auto insurance premium by an average of $2,794. That’s 64% more than the national average premium increase following a DUI.


CAR INSURANCE WITH A DUI IN NORTH CAROLINA — AVERAGE YEARLY PENALTY
AreaAvg. rate - no DUIAvg. rate - with DUIAvg. increase after DUI
North Carolina$865.29$3,659.49322%
United States$1,397.11$2,416.8772%

Getting car insurance in North Carolina with a DUI violation

Finding reasonable auto insurance soon after a DUI violation isn’t easy. In fact, a DUI typically leads to a larger premium increase than any other driving violation — more than an at-fault accident, racing, or reckless driving. North Carolina is an especially bad place in which to perpetrate a DUI: its insurance price hikes are among the nation's stiffest.


Cheapest car insurance after a DUI in North Carolina

If you've been convicted of a DWI or DUI offense in North Carolina, it’s essential to assess all your insurance options judiciously. Car insurance premiums after a DUI can fluctuate widely depending on the company. For example, the cheapest car insurance company after a DUI in North Carolina, AmTrust, provides annual premiums 34% below the state average insurance rate with a DUI violation. The second-cheapest option for car insurance after a DUI in North Carolina is State Farm, while the most expensive firm is GEICO, with rates 27% more than average.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER DUI IN NORTH CAROLINA — BY INSURANCE COMPANY
Insurance companyAvg. rate after DUI
AmTrust$2,415
State Farm$2,591
North Carolina Farm Bureau$3,233
Erie$3,375
Progressive$4,109
Nationwide$4,189
Allstate$4,618
GEICO$4,665

There is no auto insurance company in particular that provides inexpensive DUI car insurance. The best way to limit your losses post-DUI violation is to look at multiple options.

Find rate info on the Internet or reach out to an insurance professional to assess your choices and find a relatively cheap policy.

Find out more on car insurance options after a DUI.


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


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 with any detectable or suspected intoxicant 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 more harsh 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

Don't forget to share!