What Happens If You Get a DUI While Driving a Rental Car?

Being arrested for driving under the influence comes with hefty fines, court dates, and could cause you to lose your license just to name a few repercussions. What happens if you were driving a rental car, though? Here’s how a DUI in a rental can impact your driving eligibility and other factors in the future. 

Future Rentals

When you rent a car, you need a valid driver’s license as well as your credit card. Rental companies also check to see if you have prior DUI convictions on your record. If you do, it makes it harder to rent a car, truck, or RV. 

These agencies view anyone with a DUI as a liability. While the extent of a DUI and vehicle damages may be taken into consideration, you’re unlikely to find a company willing to rent if you have a prior conviction. If your DUI involved a rental car, that makes it look as though you are even less responsible. So, good luck renting again in the future. 

Losing Your License

Whether you’re in your own car or a rental, your DUI is going to be processed the same way. Your license will more than likely be confiscated during this process, which makes returning the rental a challenge. 

You and your criminal defense attorney will have to plead with the judge to grant you a temporary license in order to bring the car back to the agency. If not, then the police might call the rental agency and have someone from the office come pick it up. This can happen at the scene of the crime or later. 

The Impound

Several states impound any car with a drunk driver to deter future occurrences. This comes with the cost of daily charges for holding the vehicle and any repairs. With a rental car, you might have to pay the impound to return the vehicle to the rental agency. 

If not, then your timing to return the vehicle may in jeopardy. Rental agencies won’t care about your DUI. They just want their property returned to them on the correct date. So, you can expect to incur more charges the longer the car stays in the impound. 

In the Case of Personal Injury

If you were injured as part of the DUI by getting into an accident, this can extend the timeframes of any of the above. You’ll need a skilled personal injury lawyer to help you avoid any additional penalties from the rental agency, but you can expect to foot the rest of your bills as you would in any other DUI situation. 

While things work out close to the same whether you’re driving your own vehicle or a rental, driving a rental at the time of your DUI can complicate matters even more. It’s best to just call a taxi or Uber if you feel like you’ve had one too many. A DUI is a headache that no one wants to deal with. 

Author: Marty Shumaker