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Does a physical control violation increase auto insurance rates?

Things to remember

  • You can be convicted of physical control if you’re intoxicated and in physical contact with a vehivcle, even if you’re not driving.
  • Physical control convictions can add points to your license and may result in fees or even a suspended license.
  • Background checks will show a conviction, but only for a few years for auto insurers.
  • You’ll still be eligible for some discounts that can help you save money on car insurance if your rates increase.

It’s possible to get a DUI charge if you’re just sleeping in your vehicle while intoxicated with the keys in the ignition. It sounds crazy, but this is just one of a number of different circumstances that can result in a physical control violation on your record.

Does a physical control violation increase insurance auto insurance rates? The bad news is that it will raise your rates, but the good news is that it won’t be as bad as the increase to your premiums if you had a DUI or DWI. DUI insurance can be quite costly.

Does physical control increase insurance rates? Yes; if you have a charge for physical control, insurance may be more expensive, but there are ways to save.

Car insurance quotes with a a physical control violation may not break the bank. Before reading more about if a physical control violation increases auto insurance rates, enter your ZIP code above to get free quotes now.

Table of Contents

Is a physical control charge better than an OVI for auto insurance?

The following table shows average rates with a clean record versus rates after getting just one DUI.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates Increase with One DUI
CompaniesAverage Annual Rates with a Clean RecordAverage Annual Rates with One DUIPercentage Increase with One DUI
American Family$2,693.61$4,330.2461%
State Farm$2,821.18$3,636.8029%
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$7,613.4859%

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Rates increase anywhere from 17 to 127 percent with one DUI.

Law Code 36 CFR § 4.23 states that operating or being in physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated is prohibited.

There is, of course, a difference between a physical control charge and an OVI. An OVI is similar to a DUI, as it means that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A physical control charge means that you were inside of a vehicle while intoxicated, but there are requirements before you can be charged.

This video from R&R Law Group discusses some factors that can get you a DUI even if you weren’t actually driving.

Can you really be charged with a DUI if you’re just sleeping it off in your car, though?

What is physical control under the influence?

The Montana Supreme Court has noted six factors that should be considered when determining whether someone can be accused of a physical control DUI.

  1. Where the defendant was in the car
  2. Where the key was located within the vehicle
  3. If the engine was running
  4. Where the vehicle was parked and who drove it there
  5. If the vehicle was rendered mechanically inoperable at the time
  6. How easily that mechanical disability could have been fixed by the defendant

There are implied consent laws which mean that, if you refuse a breathalyzer, you will face legal penalties and possible fines. That said, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 24 percent of people asked to take a breathalyzer in the U.S. in 2011 refused.

If you’re charged with physical control in Ohio, license suspension is a possibility, for up to one year. If this ends up happening to you, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to get your license back.

The Ohio BMV notes that you must serve out the suspension, pay a reinstatement fee, and provide up-to-date proof of auto insurance before you can get your license back.

A physical control violation in Ohio is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries penalties of zero to 180 days of jail time, up to $1,000, and court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment.

And if you’re trying to find out how to beat a physical control charge, it’s not going to be easy. You have to prove that you were in no way intending to drive.

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Does a physical control show up on a background check for auto insurance?

How long does physical control stay on a record? It probably stays on your record forever, but your auto insurance company will likely only go back three years or so, depending on the state.

The background check will probably cease to pull it in after a few years, at which point your insurance rates should decrease. But it’s important to note that certain states keep a DUI on your record for 15 years, which will cause the DUI to affect your auto insurance.

The video below talks about how a DUI may show up on your background check.

Even though car insurance for an impaired driver are likely to increase after a physical control violation, you may still be eligible for some discounts to help lower it back down. The table below shows just a sample of discounts you may be able to get.

Common Auto Insurance Discounts Offerd by Insurance Companies
CompaniesNewer VehicleFull PaymentHomeownerMultiple VehiclesOn Time PaymentsPaperless/Auto Billing
21st Centuryxxx
American Familyxxx
Country Financialxxxx
Liberty Mutualxxxx
Safe Autoxxxxxx
State Farmxxxx
The Generalxxxx
The Hanoverxxxx
The Hartfordxxxxxx

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The best way to save on car insurance a physical control violation is to shop around. Find which car insurance company for a physical control violation works best for you.

It’s still possible to find cheap auto insurance with a DUI or physical control violation on your record. You can get free quotes from multiple insurers to compare, just enter your ZIP code below to get started.

Ready to buy car insurance a physical control violation? Get started now.


  1. https://dui.findlaw.com/dui-arrests/implied-consent-laws.html
  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/behavioral-research/behavioral-research-notes?page=1
  3. https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/susp-ad-physical-control.aspx#gsc.tab=0

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