Car insurance rates can be affected by many factors. Your driving record and perceived risk profile are two of the factors that can affect your car insurance rate. Tickets and accidents can increase rates, and a DUI conviction can lead to significant changes.
A DUI can be severe depending on where you live. There are three levels in Pennsylvania, based on blood alcohol content. Here are the possible effects of a DUI on your insurance.
What does a DUI do to your insurance rates?
Driving under the influence can lead to your insurance rates going up dramatically. A DUI conviction can result in your insurance rates being raised to reflect your new risk assessment.
As shown in the chart below, while the national rate rise averages 99%, Pennsylvanians can expect an average rate increase of 109%.
Average DUI rates for the United States vs. their respective states
|Pre-DUI||After DUI||Percentage Increase|
What is the cost of insurance for a DUI in Pennsylvania?
Your insurance rates will rise if you are convicted in Pennsylvania of DUI. You may not experience as much increase if you have minimal liability-only coverage. This is because the higher your coverages on your auto insurance, a rate hike can have on your overall premium.
If you are convicted of a DUI, some car insurance providers may not allow you to renew your policy. This will depend on which company you work for and what state you reside in. It may not reflect in the rate tables below that show increased coverage rates for DUIs in Pennsylvania.
Minimum coverage rates for Pennsylvania providers
|Provider||Average minimum coverage rate||DUI coverage minimum rate|
|State Auto Insurance||$370||$686|
Pennsylvania offers full coverage with DUI
|Provider||Average coverage rate||Full coverage with DUI|
|State Auto Insurance||$1,604||$3,143|
Other Pennsylvania DUI Penalties
A DUI conviction can increase insurance premiums, but it is also costly. These figures are based on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. They are not meant to be used as an estimate.
- Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD): $100-$1,800
- Alcohol evaluation: $35-$100
- Attorney and other legal fees: $2,000 – $8,000+
- Fines: $300-$10,000
- Restoring your license: $25
- Education and treatment: $100-$1,000+
- Vehicle impound fees: $75-175 per day
- Towing a vehicle: $50 per mile
These figures don’t include any jail time, lost wages or fees for going to court. Pennsylvania’s Driving under the Influence is a stacking offense. This means that every additional DUI will increase the penalties. The lookback period for this offense is 10 years, starting from the date of the initial charge and ending with a conviction.
Even though penalties can be harsh and costs can be high, driving while drunk still accounts to almost 30% of traffic accident deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving is responsible for approximately one death every 50 minutes in America.
What is the penalty for a first DUI in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania uses a tiered system, so the penalty will vary depending on your BAC.
You could face up to six months probation and $300 fines if your BAC falls between 0.08 and 0.0.09%.
A BAC reading of 0.010-0.159% can result in two to six months imprisonment, fines up to $500 and $5,000, and a license suspension of 12 months.
A BAC above 0.16% will result in a minimum of three days imprisonment up to six months. Fines of $1,000-$5,000 and a one year suspension of your driver’s license are possible.
This does not include any increase in your insurance or other fees that were mentioned previously.
What is Pennsylvania’s new DUI law?
Act 24, the Driving Under the Influence Law (although not new), was passed into law in 2003. This was the beginning of the tiered offense approach and when the legal limit was decreased from 0.10 to 0.08. It is still there today.
You could be subject to the maximum BAC penalties if you refuse to take a chemical or breath test, or are suspected to be under the influence of controlled substances.
Are you going to prison for a DUI in Pennsylvania
It all depends on your BAC at the time of your arrest and if you were impaired by alcohol or drugs. A probation sentence is possible for a first offense that has a low BAC. You could be sentenced to up to six months imprisonment if your BAC was higher than 0.9% or you were under the influence or using controlled substances.
What is the maximum time I will lose my license after getting a DUI in Pennsylvania
There’s a possibility that your license will not be suspended if it was your first offense with a BAC less than 0.10%. Your license could be suspended for as long as one year if you plead guilty. An ignition interlock device can be installed on your car to allow you to drive the vehicle while your license is suspended. The interlock device will cost $175 to install and $75 per month thereafter.
Your license will be suspended for 12 months if your BAC was 0.10% and higher. You can reduce your suspension by completing ARD if you’re eligible.