Car Insurance with a Criminal Conviction

Can I Get Car Insurance if I’ve Been Caught Drinking and Driving?

Caeva O'Callaghan | July 9th, 2020

If you have a drink-driving conviction, and you are worried about getting car insurance, you can still get cover, but you need to tell your insurer all about it.

In short, yes you can still get car insurance. However it depends on how long your driving ban is, and you’ll have to give your insurance company information about the incident.

Read on to find answers to questions such as:

  • If I’ve been charged with drunk driving, can I still get insurance?
  • Is my insurance invalid if I have a driving ban?
  • Does a driving ban affect insurance?

Drinking and driving is a serious offence, but it doesn’t wipe out the possibility of getting insurance. The law is there to keep you safe, so buying full and comprehensive cover when you get back on the road is always a good idea.

First, what are the drink-driving laws in Ireland?

The laws around drink-driving (or ‘driving under the influence’/DUI as it’s commonly known in other territories) have changed a bit over the last few years. So first, it’s worth knowing exactly what the current rules are.

Under the old laws you would only get a €200 fine and three penalty points. As of Friday 26 October 2018, ordinary fully licensed drivers detected by the Gardaí with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of between 50mg and 80mg will receive an automatic disqualification from driving for three months as well as a €200 fine.

The penalties for learner, novice and professional drivers have not changed. Penalties for inexperienced drivers in these categories remain the same at three months disqualification from driving and a fine of €200.

The new legislation was introduced in response to a steady increase in Ireland’s drink driving statistics. In 2017, 8,920 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), compared to 8,067 arrests in 2016 (that’s an increase of 11%).

Sadly, current Road Safety Authority statistics show us alcohol is a factor in 39% of all driver fatalities. So let’s be clear from the outset: if you haven’t already been convicted of drink-driving, don’t be.

And the best way to do that? Never, ever drink and drive.

But let’s assume that you’re here because you’ve already made that mistake once. Assuming you’ve learned your lesson and now want to move on with your life, what are your options from an insurance perspective?

Drink Driving and Car Insurance

After the authorities charge you with drink driving, you need to tell your insurance broker and insurer. Never hide your conviction because it will lead to problems down the line, most notably by voiding your policy.

It is also important to know that you must disclose any conviction even if the event or the conviction happened after the policy of insurance was taken out.

Questions your insurance provider will ask include:

  • When it happened
  • The length of your ban
  • Any penalty points incurred
  • Fines you’ve had to pay

After your drink-driving conviction, your risk factor will increase. So, while a drink-driving conviction won’t necessarily stop you from getting car insurance, your quote will be higher than it would be if you didn’t have a criminal conviction.

But we can help reduce those costs in many cases, so it pays to shop around and know exactly what information you need to disclose. For instance, insurance companies no longer need to know the statistics around your BAC levels at the time of your offence.

It can take longer to process quotes for people with drink driving convictions, so make sure you have plenty of time left on your existing policy before you renew or take out a new one.

Convicted Drink Driver Insurance

A number of insurance companies provide quotes to convicted drivers, and there are others who offer specialist insurance. We get quotes on your behalf from these insurers so you can find the deal for you.

A major factor in determining the cost of your car insurance policy will be the penalty you get. If you were disqualified from driving for more than two years, you will have lost your no claims bonus. This means you’ll have to start again from scratch.

Always be honest and upfront with your insurance provider about your convictions. They aren’t there to judge you, only help you find the best deal for your circumstances.

We can help you find specialised car insurance if you have a conviction. Just give us a call today and our friendly staff will be happy to walk you through the process.

If you have had a criminal conviction for drink driving and you are looking to get your car insured, call us today and we can help you.

If you have previously had a drink driving conviction and you need and you are looking to get motor insurance, feel free to pick up the phone and talk to our car insurance today. We can advise you professionally, based on the seriousness of the offence, the length of the ban and the number of penalty points you have picked up. You can talk to us Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you need a car insurance quote online, our car insurance quote engine checks the Irish market to help find the right cover for your specific needs.