If you’ve been convicted of DUI/DWI, you know it’s a very expensive proposition. After lawyers fees, court costs, substance abuse treatment, and other fees have been paid for, there’s one bill remaining: your auto insurance bill. You may be hoping that getting an ignition interlock device (IID) installed will help you avoid high risk car insurance. Well, we hate to dash your hopes, but it probably won’t.
Some auto insurance companies will drop you as a client if you’re convicted of DUI/DWI. They see you as too big of a risk, even if it was your first offense. Other insurance companies will keep you as a client, but they will raise your rates, and may require you to get a special high risk car insurance policy. How much your auto insurance rates will go up after a drunk driving conviction depends on the circumstances of your case, where you live, and the insurance company’s own policies, among other things. Your state may require you to provide them with proof you are adequately insured after a DUI, by getting an SR-22 form, or Certificate of Responsibility from your insurer.
Your rates could go up as little as 30%, but as much as 300% or more. You read that right. In North Carolina, your auto insurance rates could more than quadruple after a drunk driving conviction. And that’s even if you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. While that’s a safety measure for that particular vehicle, insurance companies are not in the business of trusting people to do the right thing.
Ignition Interlock Devices Prevent Drunk Driving
It would actually be a good thing if auto insurance companies gave a break on rates to drivers who get an ignition interlock device installed, either as an attempt to start driving before serving out the full license suspension associated with a DUI, or by installing an ignition interlock device voluntarily.
The fact is, ignition interlock devices prevent drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) collected data from several ignition interlock device companies over a 10 year period, and found that from 2006 to 2016, IIDs prevented more than 2.3 million drunk driving attempts. That is, the devices stopped people with .08 or higher BAC from being able to start their car and go drive drunk.
In addition, studies show that drivers who install an ignition interlock device after a DUI/DWI conviction are less likely to drive drunk again even after the device is removed from their vehicle.
Voluntary Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Even if insurance companies won’t let you avoid higher rates after a DUI by installing an ignition interlock device, we think they should consider giving a discount to people who voluntarily install a device. Many people will install private use ignition interlock devices to prevent anyone from using their vehicle while they’re impaired by alcohol.
People who might do this include:
- Someone convicted of a DUI
- A recovering alcoholic
- A parent who wants to prevent a teen driver from driving drunk
- An employer
At ALCOLOCK, we view ignition interlock devices as another safety feature for your vehicle. Many auto insurance companies give premium discounts for safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, and if you have taken a driver safety course.
Possible Benefits of Insurance Discounts for Ignition Interlock Devices
Instead of jacking up the rates for everyone convicted of drunk driving, insurance companies could help prevent drunk driving by becoming part of the solution. We get that insurance companies need to raise rates for drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving. But within that rate increase, they could provide for a discount for drivers who get an ignition interlock device installed. Offering that incentive would:
- Encourage non-compliant offenders to install the mandated ignition interlock devices
- Encourage drivers to keep the IID installed for the duration of their high risk policy, even if they have completed their restricted driving program and are not required to have the IID installed. This would make the roads safer for everyone
MADD and other organizations are working to make ignition interlock devices mandatory for all offenders, in all 50 states. Partnering with insurance companies could actually reduce drunk driving.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation Today
ALCOLOCK is a state-approved vendor of ignition interlock devices in many states across the country, and we’re expanding every day. As a pioneer in the ignition interlock industry, we have helped thousands of people get back on the road after a drunk driving conviction. You can call ALCOLOCK directly at 866-700-9300, or contact an authorized service location to schedule your ignition interlock device installation. You can also use our contact form, and someone will get back to you shortly.