After downing a few glasses of wine at a party, you may get back at the wheel to drive back home without much afterthought. There are many who have done this on more than one occasion. Unfortunately, it could be one of those nights when you may get pulled over. Then, you jolt back to some somberness as the police consider you impaired while driving and convict you. DUI insurance means the change to your insurance policy after such a conviction.
What Does DUI Mean
DUI means driving while you are under the influence of an intoxicating substance such as alcohol or drugs. It could even include medications causing drowsiness and incapability to drive. Drinking and driving is a serious criminal offense in Canada that invites major penalties. If you refuse the breathalyzer test without reasonable grounds, it could also be a criminal violation. Ontario has some of the toughest enforcements and laws in the country to combat such irresponsible and unsafe driving behavior.
The warning range for BAC or blood alcohol concentration allowed in Ontario for a fully licensed driver is from 0.05 and max outs at 0.08 or 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. If you are a G1 license holder, the BAC should be at zero. You are required to be accompanied by a fully licensed experienced driver with less than 0.05 BAC. Any quantity over this threshold is a punishable offense while driving. You could be penalized even while you are impaired in your car that is parked by the curbside.
Consequences of a DUI conviction may include some or all of the following.
- Your car may be impounded.
- Your driving license may be suspended or canceled.
- Once conviction charges have been proved, you may pay more penalties.
- You may have to pay hefty administrative fines and spend jail time.
- There might be a requirement to complete a rehabilitation program.
- There could be enforcement for you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at your own expense.
Thereafter, follows the change in your status from a low-risk driver to a high-risk category on your insurance policy based on your DUI conviction.
How Much Does Your Insurance Go Up After A DUI
There is no uniformity amongst insurance companies in how they tackle the insurance policy after a DUI conviction. There is no standard percentile in insurance rate increase. Usually, there might be little or no increase in your premiums for your first minor conviction. But if you have 2nd minor conviction in the last 3 years, then you may see an increment in your premiums. In case you have been in accidents with more than 25% at fault determination, over the last 6 years with a mix of minor convictions, nonetheless, there could be an upward climb in your car insurance premiums if your insurer continues your policy.
Certain providers may decline to provide car insurance due to a DUI conviction. This is also true as your conviction has violated your terms of an agreement with the insurer and the regulatory standards as per FSCO. Then, the only solace could be to approach the Facility Association which has a pool of designated insurers who could offer you a policy under certain terms. Such policies don’t turn out to be cheap as you then belong to a high-risk residual category. As long as the DUI record stays on your policy you may continue to pay premiums as hefty as double the rate or more.
How Long Does It Take For A DUI To Come Off Your Insurance
The decision to take a DUI conviction record off your insurance policy is at the discretion of your insurance company. Certain insurance companies may keep the record for up to 3 years from the date of your conviction. Other companies may also consider you a high-risk category for up to 6 years after a DUI conviction. You may have to wait for several years to get back to low-risk status.
Do Insurance Cover DUI Accidents
Ontario motor regulation has a no-fault based accident value system. So, in the event of a DUI accident claim, the damages may be covered by your insurance company. The insurance company then has a subrogated interest to recover the losses from the other party or their insurance company. But, as per the excluded terms in a standard automobile insurance policy, your insurer may also refuse to pay for the damages if the accident occurred while you or another driver were impaired and there was a criminal conviction under DUI in Canada or the United States. It is under such circumstances that additional liability coverage could provide some relief.