How Does A DUI Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

How Does A DUI Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

Driving under the influence can drastically affect your insurance premiums—and in the most severe cases in Manitoba, your driver premium may increase to $3000, in addition to your vehicle premium. 

What Constitutes Being Impaired

There are several different offences that all fall under the DUI umbrella. They include:


  • Driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher—this represents 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
  • Driving with anywhere between 2 nanograms (ng) and 5 ng of THC in your blood (a lesser offence)
  • Driving with 5 ng or more of THC in your blood (a more serious offence)
  • Driving with a combination of a BAC of .05 and 2.5 ng or more of THC in your blood
  • Having any detectable amount of several drugs, including LSD, psilocybin, and cocaine in your system within two hours of driving

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

The severity of the penalties you’ll receive for driving under the influence depends on both the nature of the offence and whether or not it’s your first, second, or third offence.


In Manitoba, the police may impose a 24-hour roadside licence suspension on anyone suspected of drug impairment. Additionally, anyone with a BAC ranging from .05-.079 (registered as a “Warn” on approved screening devices) may receive a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension. These suspensions can range from 72 hours to 60 days, depending on how many suspensions you’ve received in 10 years. 


Below, we’ve listed the penalties for a DUI conviction—these are federally imposed penalties. We have not included other penalties, like refusing to comply with a demand for a sample or impaired driving causing bodily harm or death.

First Offence

The consequences for your first serious offence can range from a $1000 mandatory minimum fine to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if you are convicted.


Second Offence

The consequences of your second offence can range from a mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if convicted. 

Third Offence

The consequences of your third offence can range from a mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment if convicted. 

Factors That Impact Your Car Insurance After a DUI

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) uses a Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale to determine insurance rates. Getting a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension for driving with a BAC of .5-.79 moves you down the Driver Safety Rating 5 levels—without you ever having been convicted of a DUI-related offence.


Your DSR can also be lowered by 5 levels for:


  • Driving with a BAC of .08 or over
  • Having over 5 ng of THC in your blood
  • Having a combined BAC of over .5 with a concentration of more than 2.5 ng of THC
  • Refusing to provide samples and refusing to complete coordination tests 
  • Having illegal drugs in your system


Finally, being convicted of an impaired driving-related Criminal Code offence can move your DSR down 5, 10, or 15 levels.


Similar penalties may apply in areas with private insurance or under other provinces’ public insurance programs. 

Will Your Insurance Rate Increase?

Yes. Whether you’re insured through a private or public provider, your premiums will likely increase substantially. Auto insurance premiums can become prohibitively expensive after a DUI. 

Will My Insurance Premium Ever Lower After a DUI?

Insurance companies care about risk—if drivers display that they are at a low risk of causing accidents, their insurance premiums will typically decrease.


Here in Manitoba, your Driver Safety Rating goes up for safe driving. Your premium may return to base after years without claims, impaired driving, or other incidents. Drivers can even reach the maximum DSR level attainable through enough years of safe driving after a DUI. 


In other provinces, private and public insurance regulations and practices vary. Typically, however, you can expect your insurance premium to be reduced after years of safe driving—though it may take some shopping around through an insurance broker to see more substantial reductions. 


Driving under the influence can have an incredibly negative effect on your insurance premiums—one of the many costs imposed to reduce the rates of impaired driving. Avoid driving under the influence; have plans to get home safely without driving if you plan on drinking or using drugs.


Looking to understand your auto insurance in Winnipeg? We can help. Get in touch with us today. 

Ken Coughlin

About the Author

Ken Coughlin


Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the insurance industry. Strong business development professional skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Business Planning, Operations Management, and Property & Casualty Insurance.

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