Car Insurance for Drink Drivers

You should never drive whilst over the alcohol limit, or even if you think you could be close to it. Alongside the risk to yourself and others, you’ll face serious penalties if caught drink driving.

A drink driving conviction can also make it harder and more expensive to get car insurance. But even with a conviction you still have options and can still take steps to save money on your car insurance. Here we explain how a drink driving conviction can affect car insurance and what to do to get the best deal.

There isn’t a specialist insurance for drivers with a drink driving conviction available through Asda Money, but you may still be able to get a quote.

Woman stood in front of new car buying car insurance on mobile phone
01 Mar 2024

Can convicted drink drivers get car insurance?


Having a drink driving conviction on your record could make it harder to find car insurance and some insurers won’t offer policies if you’ve been convicted of this kind of offence.

But there are some insurance providers who specialise in car insurance for those with drink driving convictions. These policies may be more expensive than standard car insurance.

Do I need car insurance during a driving ban?

If you’ve been issued with a driving ban, you need to have third party insurance for your car unless you declare it off the road by making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). If you do make a SORN notification, you won’t have to pay road tax.

Once your driving ban has ended, you’ll need to apply for your driving licence to be reissued and also get car insurance.


UK drink driving alcohol laws


The alcohol limits for drivers in the UK are:


Level of alcohol

England, Wales, and Northern Ireland


Micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath



Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood



Milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine




It’s difficult to say how many drinks this equals. The amount of alcohol your body absorbs and how quickly depends on factors that are unique to you, including:


  • Your sex
  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your metabolism
  • The type of alcohol you’ve drunk
  • Whether you’ve eaten and what you’ve eaten
  • Your stress levels

Even small amounts of alcohol can affect how you drive, so it’s always better to be cautious when it comes to drink driving. Learn more about the UK drink driving limit.


Drink driving penalties


There are very strict drink driving penalties if you’re caught over the limit in the UK.


If you’re caught in charge of a vehicle whilst above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you could get:


  • Up to a £2,500 fine
  • A three-month prison sentence
  • A possible driving ban


If you’re caught driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink, you could get:


  • An unlimited fine
  • A six-month prison sentence
  • A driving ban for at least one year (three years if convicted twice within a 10 year period)


If you refuse to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine to measure your alcohol level, you may get:


  • An unlimited fine
  • A six-month prison sentence
  • A driving ban for at least one year


If you cause death by careless driving when under the influence of drink, you may get:


  • An unlimited fine
  • Life imprisonment
  • A driving ban for at least five years

You might also have to take an extended driving test before your licence is returned after your driving ban.

Learn more about UK drink driving penalties.


Drink driving penalty points (endorsements)


If you receive a drink driving conviction, you’ll also be given penalty points. The number of points and how long they last depends on how serious the driving offence is.




Penalty points

Duration of points


In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit              


4 years


In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink


4 years


Failure to provide a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive


4 years


Failing to cooperate with a preliminary test


4 years


Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above limit


11 years


Driving or attempting to drive while unfit through drink


11 years


Driving or attempting to drive then failing to supply a specimen for analysis


11 years


Driving or attempting to drive then refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity


11 years


Refusing to give permission for analysis of a blood sample that was taken without consent due to incapacity in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive


11 years


Learn more about driving penalty points.


Do I need to declare drink driving convictions to insurers?


Yes, you do. It’s illegal in the UK to not inform your insurance provider about any drink driving convictions. If you fail to, not only are you breaking the law, but you may also invalidate your insurance. Your provider might not pay out if you make a claim, leaving you to pay any costs yourself. If you’re over 18, you need to declare the offence for five years – it’s two years and six months for under 18s.

You must also inform your insurer about any penalty points you’re given.


Does my insurance cover accidents while under the influence?


If you cause an accident whilst driving over the legal alcohol limit, your car insurance might not pay out for any injuries you suffer, or for any damage to your vehicle. Your insurance will pay out for the costs of any claims made by a third party, but your provider may attempt to pass these costs onto you.

Check the terms and conditions on your insurance policy to understand what you’re covered for in the event of accidents caused when drink driving.


How does drink driving affect car insurance premiums?


If you have a drink driving conviction, your car insurance premiums will likely be more expensive. This is because insurers view you as a higher-risk driver that’s more likely to make a claim. It’s often harder to find insurance policies, too.

How much higher your premiums will be depends on your circumstances and the conviction.


How can I make car insurance cheaper after a drink driving conviction?


Your premiums may be higher after a drink driving conviction but there are steps you can take that could help to lower them.


  1. Take a drink driving rehabilitation course: After receiving a drink driving conviction, you’ll likely be offered a driving rehabilitation course. If you take the course and pass it, it could help reduce your future insurance premiums.


  1. Increase your voluntary excess: The excess on a policy is the amount of money you pay when making an insurance claim. The majority of insurance policies have a compulsory excess, but some offer a voluntary excess where you agree to pay more. Increasing your voluntary excess may reduce your premiums.


  1. Consider black box insurance: With black box insurance – also called telematics insurance – a device is installed in your car so your insurer can remotely monitor your driving. It can help prove you’re a safe driver so long as you drive responsibly.


  1. Reduce your mileage: The more you drive the more likely you are to have an accident, at least from an insurer’s point of view. If you volunteer to limit your mileage, insurance providers may offer you lower car insurance premiums.


  1. Invest in your car’s security: Taking steps to improve your car’s security, such as installing an immobiliser or parking off road, could help lower your premiums.


  1. Shop around for car insurance: As with any form of insurance, you can find the best deals by comparing car insurance quotes from a range of insurers..


How Asda can help you find car insurance


We can help you find the right car insurance for your requirements. Compare quotes from a panel of over 60 insurance providers, offering a variety of insurance for different types of drivers. The car insurance comparison service is provided by Vast Visibility Limited.

Start comparing car insurance quotes today.




Car insurance with a drink driving conviction FAQs

Can I get car insurance if I have a drink driving conviction?

You can get car insurance again after a drink driving conviction, but it may be more expensive. Some insurers won’t offer insurance to convicted drivers, and others will charge you higher premiums.

How much is insurance for drink drivers?

Car insurance for drink drivers may be more costly than for drivers who haven’t been convicted. How much more expensive depends on your conviction and your other circumstances.

Will insurance cover drink driving?

If you have an accident while drink driving, your insurer will pay out for any claims made by a third party. But they likely won’t cover any damage to your vehicle or any expenses related to your injuries. They may also try to pass the costs of third party claims onto you.

Do I have to tell insurance about a drink driving conviction?

Yes. You must tell your insurer about any drink driving convictions for five years after the date of conviction if you were over 18-years-old at the time, or two and half years if you were under 18.

How to get cheap car insurance with DR10 conviction?

Whatever type of driving conviction you have, you can take steps to find the cheapest car insurance possible. This includes shopping around for insurance, taking a drink driving rehabilitation course, increasing your voluntary excess or opting for black box insurance.

Will I lose my licence for drink driving?

The penalties for drink driving will depend on how serious the offence is. You can lose your licence or be banned from driving for a time. You might also face fines and a prison sentence.

How long does drink driving stay on your record?

Different drink driving offences will stay on your driving record for varying lengths of time. Most commonly they last between 4 and 11 years.



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