Getting a DUI can affect your life in many different ways. A conviction can result in jail time, harsh fines, and even the loss of your license. Since DUI is a crime in Illinois, in addition to showing up on your driving record it will also show up on your permanent criminal record. As a result, your DUI can stay with you forever. It can prevent you from doing things that you once took for granted. Even small things, like renting a car, can be incredibly difficult.
How Will a DUI Affect My Ability to Rent a Car?
Having a DUI on your criminal record will not automatically prevent you from renting a car. However, it can make it much more difficult than it used to be. When you want to rent a car, rental companies have the right to check your driving record. Companies are not required to perform this check, but many do to make sure that their vehicles will be in good hands.
Some companies have policies in place that prohibit the renting of cars to drivers with certain infractions on their driving record in recent months. In some cases, companies may look at the previous 48 months on your driving record. Violations that could affect your ability to rent a car include:
- DUI with ignition interlock requirement
- Reckless driving
- Driving with a suspended license
- Vehicular manslaughter, or
- Multiple tickets and points on your license.
These policies are in place to make sure that cars are rented to responsible drivers who won’t put the company’s property and others in harm’s way.
Do Car Rental Companies Offer Cars With Ignition Interlock Devices?
Let’s say you were convicted of DUI and a judge has ordered you to install an ignition interlock device in your car. This device is (a) expensive and (b) a way to make sure that you don’t drive while drunk. In fact, the car won’t work at all if you have any trace of alcohol on your breath.
Renting a car seems like a nice loophole to this system. However, car rental companies do not have any cars that are equipped with ignition interlock devices. If you have to prove that you’re not intoxicated, the company doesn’t want you driving one of their cars. If the company knows that you’re required to use an ignition interlock device they will not rent you a car.
How Can I Rent a Car With a DUI?
Again, having a DUI on your record will not automatically prevent you from renting a car. However, it will be more difficult to complete this ordinarily simple task. There are certain things you can do to improve your chances of renting a car after a DUI:
- Complete an alcohol or drug intervention program
- Complete a driver safety course
- Demonstrate safe driving practices
- Avoid getting tickets and points on your license
- Refrain from consuming any alcohol or drugs before driving, and
- Wait until at least two years after your DUI to rent a car.
If you can demonstrate that your DUI was a one-time mistake and that you have committed to driving safely, companies may be more inclined to rent you a car. If you have multiple traffic violations and accidents on your record, companies will be hesitant to trust you with one of their cars. You want to show the company that you are a safe driver and are committed to being cautious.
You can also have a friend or family member rent the car, instead. This will speed up the process and prevent you from being denied. While you won’t be driving, you can enjoy the sights and scenery from the passenger seat.
Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been arrested for DUI in Chicago? If so, you need the help of an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer. The consequences of DUI can affect many aspects of your life. You may even be prevented from renting a car years after your arrest. You can fight to avoid the consequences of your DUI arrest, and the Kostopoulos Law Group can help. Call our Chicago DUI defense attorneys to schedule your free case evaluation today.