How Will a Drink Driving Conviction Affect Insurance?
April 2017 is international Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and with drug and drink driving convictions on the rise, it seems like a very prominent issue which must be addressed before statistics get worse.
The drink driving ban first took effect in Britain in 1967 following the introduction of the Road Safety Act. This rules anyone with more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood unfit to drive. The ban on drink driving makes logical sense as it is an extremely dangerous to attempt to operate a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol, however, in the UK alone there are almost 1,000 drink driving deaths annually.
Being unfit to drive should be a universally understood limit, whether the person is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs (legal or not). Surprisingly, it wasn’t until March 2nd, 2015 when the UK government introduced a new legal limit for driving under the influence of drugs.
For drugs such as cocaine, MDMA and cannabis, the acceptable limit of intoxication is understandably diminutive, but drivers can now be convicted if they are found with a high amount of prescription drugs in their system.
Prescription drugs such as diazepam (used to treat anxiety) and morphine (used to relieve severe pain) can negatively impact someone’s ability to drive if abused. This new law excludes drivers who take prescription medication under the instruction of a doctor, as long as they have taken doses within the legal limit and are fit to drive.
Driving under the influence is certainly not a grey area – you are either capable of driving or not. Unfortunately, this is not the case as over 400 people face drink and drug driving charges monthly.
What Happens if You are Convicted of Drink Driving?
Many serious issues can arise if you face a conviction, some of which will affect the rest of your life such as up to 11 points on your license, a possible driving ban and even imprisonment. You could face difficulties in the future such as issues finding employment, as your conviction will forever be visible.
All are extremely serious penalties to have to face, however, the safety risks are undeniably more grievous. In many cases these incidents are fatal.
Car Insurance will Increase for Drink Drivers
Maybe one of the biggest overlooked difficulties facing a drunk driving conviction is the inevitable rise in the price of your car insurance. Some insurers will actually refrain from working with you if you have a conviction on your license. The cost of insurance increases following a driving conviction as insurance companies see you as more likely to pursue a claim due to hazardous driving behaviour.
The insurance you pay can increase by on average 78%. For example, if you were insured with Cheltenham Business Endsleigh Insurance and you received a drunk driving conviction, your premium could increase from £446 to £1,405 annually. One of the worst parts is that this extortionate price should be met with gratitude, as many insurers will simply refuse to cover people who have been caught drink driving.
Recent Insurance Changes
This is particularly crushing when you take the recent insurance policy changes into thought. On March 20th, 2017 a new compensation policy was introduced to the UK which will cause car insurance prices to soar, particularly for young people.
Anyone under 22 can be faced with a bill up to £1000 annually, whereas drivers on the other end of the spectrum, anyone over 65, will see their insurance increase by £300 annually.
Car insurance is getting exponentially pricier, the average yearly cost now being £797. With such lofty prices, perhaps taking care to not further increase the cost of your insurance would be worthwhile.
The Importance of Safe Driving
Driving safety is not a subject which should ever be ignored, however, it is being stressed by the government now more than ever as road incident statistics rise. As of April 24th, 2017 speeding fines will be rising in order to make drivers understand the severity of their actions, and in some cases, those charged with speeding could be fined 150% of their weekly income.
These strict guidelines are being put in place to emphasise exactly how dangerous the roads can be and a higher fine is likely to force drivers to pay closer attention to the law.
Contact Insure 24-7 if you wish to discuss motor insurance policies; we can offer both personal and commercial motor insurance policies and can help you find a reasonably priced policy if you or one of your employees has a penalty on their licence. Get in touch with one of our expert brokers today to discuss how we can help you.