Car Insurance with DUI in Canada: Expert Guide
The rules of the road are in place for a reason — to help keep Canadian drivers safe and out of harm's way. Breaking the rules of the road can have serious consequences, ranging from hefty fines to losing your driving privileges.
One of the most severe on-road offences is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Aside from the wide range of legal consequences that come with driving under the influence, getting auto insurance with DUI charges can also be challenging.
Continue reading to learn more about the consequences of driving under the influence and how to get DUI insurance in Canada.
What is a DUI?
A DUI (short for driving under the influence) is an on-road infraction in which an individual operates a vehicle in an altered state of mind due to high levels of drugs (like marijuana) and/or alcohol.
How do you get a DUI in Canada?
In Canada, drivers receive a DUI after failing a breathalyzer test administered by a police officer or the equivalent authorities.
A police officer will generally pull drivers over if he or she believes that the suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.Police officers generally look for drivers who speed, swerve, or make poor, irrational decisions on the road.
What limits do drivers need to adhere to in order to avoid getting a DUI in Canada?
In order to avoid getting a DUI, drivers need to avoid surpassing the alcohol or THC blood level limits.
Drivers need to have a blood-alcohol level less than 0.08 in order to drive in Canada legally. Similarly, drivers need to have less than two nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood. Surpassing either of these amounts is guaranteed to lead to a DUI.
Bonus — Drivers should note that they can get a DUI if they have a blood-alcohol level that's near the limit and they act recklessly on the road. The consequences are at the discretion of the police officer.
What are the legal consequences of getting a DUI in Canada?
Now that you're aware of the ins and outs of getting a DUI in Canada, it's time to assess the nitty-gritty details — the legal consequences.
The type and severity of the penalties for getting a DUI in Canada depends on the number of previous offences you have.
First conviction — If you're charged with driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level between 0.08 and 0.119 there is a minimum $1,000 fine. Getting caught driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level between 0.120 and 0.159 results in a $1,500 fine. Lastly, operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over 0.160 will likely end in you receiving a $2,000 fine.
On a similar note, drivers will receive a $1,000 fine if they exceed the THC blood level limits or are caught driving with a THC blood content level of 2.5 ng per ml and a blood-alcohol content level of 0.05 simultaneously.
Second conviction — If you receive a second DUI in Canada, you can expect the same punishments as above, along with a minimum 30-day jail sentence.
Third conviction — Getting a third DUI results in the same penalties as above, along with a minimum 120-day jail sentence. Drivers should note that the maximum sentence is ten years in prison.
Conviction involving bodily harm to a third party — If you're convicted of driving under the influence and injuring a third-party (driver, passerby, etc.), you can expect a minimum punishment of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
Conviction involving the death of a third party — If you're convicted of driving under the influence and accidentally kill a third party, you can potentially receive life in prison.
Bonus — Each province has their own unique rules and regulations regarding driving under the influence. Click here if you'd like to learn the rules and consequences of impaired driving in Ontario.
Can you get car insurance after DUI charges in Canada?
Yes, but getting car insurance with a DUI charge can be an uphill battle, especially if you have a handful of prior offences on your driving record.
In most cases, car insurance providers want to work with low-risk drivers. A low-risk driver is an individual who has a clean driving record, lots of on-road experience and is less likely to get into a collision. Drivers with these characteristics are more likely to find cheap car insurance in Canada.
On the other hand, seeing a DUI on your record can be a red flag to providers. Having a DUI on your driving record shows your car insurance provider that you have a history of making irrational decisions and are more likely to put other drivers in danger. So, if a company chooses to provide coverage after DUI charges, you'll likely have to get high-risk car insurance.
How much is insurance with a DUI on your driving record?
In general, high-risk insurance will cost you 25% to 100% more than traditional coverage.
With Canada's average car insurance price sitting at approximately $1,800, we can determine that high-risk drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $2,250 to $3,600 for coverage.
Do you need help finding insurance after getting a DUI?
Although you may think that finding cheap insurance with a DUI is next to impossible — thankfully, it's not an unreachable goal.
At Surex, we want to keep all Canadian drivers safe. That's why our team puts equal amounts of time and effort into finding cheap car insurance quotes for Canadians. Our experienced team has seen it all, so when you have a question about DUIs or high-risk car insurance, they'll be able to address it quickly and professionally.
If you're the type of driver that likes to compare their options, you've come to the right place. Contact one of our knowledgeable insurance brokers today to receive ten personalized quotes in ten minutes or less!
Driving under the influence isn't worth it
Most drivers know that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a risky decision. You're putting yourself and others in unnecessary jeopardy. That's why Canada has such strict laws regarding impaired driving.
If you have unanswered questions about the risks or consequences of driving under the influence, don't hesitate to contact a Surex insurance advisor.