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Can I Rent a Car After a DUI?

Posted by Christopher Martens | Sep 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Getting a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol brings with it many changes. You will have court dates to appear at, fines and fees to pay, alcohol education classes to sign up for and potentially jail time to serve. On top of that, your license will be suspended for a period of time by the California DMV and you will have driving points added to your record. The DMV will also require you to provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR-22 filing. You can buy SR-22 coverage through many insurance companies, who then file proof of it with the DMV. To reinstate your license after a suspension, the DMV must receive proof you have SR-22 coverage for three years in a row. Your insurance company may drop your coverage once they find out you got a DUI and you may have to find SR-22 coverage through a specialty insurer who handles high-risk drivers. This is usually very expensive and easily the biggest expense, in the long run, for getting a DUI. If convicted in Tulare, Los Angeles, Sacramento or Alameda counties, you will automatically be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, in all cars you own and/or use. You may still be ordered to install an IID in other counties in certain circumstances. You will be given a restriction on your license when you do get it back which will effectively prevent you from driving any vehicle without one, no exceptions.

For these reasons and others, you will also be restricted from participating in every day driving related activities you used to, like renting cars. If you are restricted from driving any vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device, you will be unable to rent a car until that restriction is lifted. Even without this restriction, rental car companies can run a driving record check on you before allowing you to rent. Most companies that run driving record reports will prevent you from renting a car within 48 months of getting a DUI. While you only need to have proof of SR-22 insurance for three years and the driving points you got from your DUI will drop off at three years as well, it can seem unfair that you cannot rent a car for four years after your DUI. Because rental car companies are private companies, they reserve the right to refuse you service for your driving record. Even if you don't think they will run a record, if you lie about your DUI then rent anyways, if you are involved in an accident or damage the car in any way, they may not cover the damages, leaving you liable for the costs. This may be in the fine print of your rental contract so whenever renting after you get a DUI, read these contracts closely. This alone is a good reason to make sure the company you are renting from is aware of your DUI. Insuring a driving with a DUI is very risky for them, although some companies may still allow you to rent. Contact some rental car companies when you are thinking about renting. Many people have DUIs so don't be ashamed to ask if they will rent to you or if they know what company might do that.

It goes without saying that you will also need a valid driver's license to rent a car, regardless of your driving record. Having a restricted suspended license, which many drivers with recent DUIs have, so even if a rental company agrees to rent to someone with a DUI on their record, you will not be able to do so until you have your driver's license fully reinstated. If you have an order to only drive in vehicles with IIDs installed, you will also be out of luck, as most rental car companies do not offer cars for rent with IIDs installed. For these reasons, a DUI is a serious charge you should fight against. Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney if you are facing DUI charges or have been convicted of a DUI and want to try to clean up your record and have the charge dismissed. This will give you the best chance at living a normal life, post-DUI.

Have you or a loved one recently been arrested for a DUI? DUI defense attorney Christopher Martens knows DUI defense and will fight for your rights. Mr. Martens has over 10 years of criminal defense experience and will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome so you can move on with your life. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert DUI defense counsel. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.

About the Author

Christopher Martens

Bio Visalia and Bakersfield criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his life to helping those who have been accused of crimes or injured due to the negligence of others.


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