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Does Car Insurance Cover DUI-Related Property Damage in Arizona?

Posted on April 8, 2023 in DUI

If you cause a car accident in Arizona while driving under the influence (DUI), you will be held responsible for paying to repair any related property damage suffered by a victim. This refers to not only damage to someone else’s vehicle, but a home, business, fence or any other type of property that was damaged in the crash. Find out if and when your car insurance policy will pay for DUI-related property damage in Arizona.

Minimum Required Amounts of Car Insurance in Arizona

There are two different types of car insurance systems: fault and no-fault. The system that a state uses will determine the amounts of car insurance that are required for its drivers. Arizona, like most states, uses a fault-based system. This means that after a car accident, the driver or party at fault pays for the damage.

According to this rule, the following types of insurance are required for all drivers in Arizona:

  • Bodily injury insurance per person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury insurance per accident (one or more persons): $50,000
  • Property damage liability insurance: $15,000

Property damage liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other party’s damaged items. It does not pay for the policyholder’s property damage – this requires first-party coverage such as collision or comprehensive insurance. If desired, a driver can purchase more than the minimum amount of $15,000 in property damage coverage to limit his or her personal liability for an accident.

Does Car Insurance Cover Non-Vehicle Property Damage?

Yes. Any type of property damage caused by a car accident is a covered expense under a basic property damage liability insurance policy in Arizona. This insurance can pay for a vehicle, home, landscape, mailbox, fence, personal item and many other types of property after a DUI car accident. To obtain financial compensation from another driver’s insurance policy, the victim must prove that the other driver caused or significantly contributed to the crash. This may require proving drunk driving, if applicable.

What if You Are Uninsured or Underinsured?

If you cause a car accident that damages someone else’s property while driving under the influence in Arizona, your car insurance policy will be used to reimburse the victim for necessary property repair costs. If you totaled the other driver’s vehicle – meaning it would cost more to repair the vehicle than the car is worth – your insurance would pay for the full pre-crash value of the car.

If you are underinsured, meaning you do not have enough insurance to pay for 100 percent of the property damage caused, you may be held responsible for paying the remainder out of pocket. You may owe the other person the leftover price of property repairs or vehicle replacement after you max out your car insurance policy. If you cannot afford to pay in a lump sum, the courts may garnish your wages, use liens or take other actions against you until your debt is satisfied.

If you were illegally driving while uninsured in Arizona at the time that you caused a DUI car accident, you could be held personally responsible for the full price of the other party’s medical bills and property repairs. This may cost thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the crash. You could also face criminal charges for an aggravated DUI, which is a Class 4 felony if you cause an accident while intoxicated. The potential punishments for a conviction include 1.75 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines, 10 years of probation and 3-year license revocation.

If you get arrested for driving under the influence and causing an accident or property damage in Arizona, contact a Tempe DUI defense attorney right away for legal assistance.

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