Impaired driving: a crime that can really cost you

Impaired driving: a crime that can really cost you
17 Dec 2015

So you’ve had a couple of drinks with dinner and think you’re okay to drive… Think again before getting behind the wheel. If your blood alcohol level is higher than the legal limit of 0.08 and you are pulled over, you certainly won’t finish your evening on a high note. You could end up with a suspended licence, a criminal record and a fine. Stiff consequences are associated with alcohol impaired driving, and they don’t go away anytime soon. Here is some advice from L’Unique General Insurance on how to avoid finding yourself in such a predicament.

A double insurance premium
If you are pulled over while driving under the influence, your licence will be suspended immediately. You will have to inform your insurer of the suspension. Then, when your licence is reinstated, your insurance premium will increase significantly for the next few years. If you think a change of insurer will do the trick, you are mistaken, because you will have to declare your error. One after the other, insurers could decline your application for insurance. Being economical with the truth will not serve you well: In the event of a loss, you’ll also have to live with the consequences of making a false claim.

Other major costs
The premium increase represents only a portion of the costs you will incur if you are found guilty of impaired driving. In 2014, the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) listed all the costs related to a first alcohol-impaired driving offence, including the minimum fine and mandatory charges. The total cost? A minimum of $1,750, in addition to various expenses, such as:
• Criminal record, registry and lawyer fees
• Vehicle towing and storage costs
• Transportation costs for getting around while your licence is suspended
• Fees for the installation of an ignition interlock device, which prevents your vehicle from
starting if your blood alcohol level is too high
• A contribution to the IVAC crime victims compensation program

Some ways to get home safely
If you consume alcohol, act responsibly to ensure that you get home without endangering your life and the lives of others. A few suggestions:
• Carpool with a designated driver
• Phone a friend or call a taxi
• Sleep over
• Walk home

In addition to public transit, there are free or affordable transportation alternatives, such as Operation Red Nose and Zero Tolerance. For just a few dollars, you can get a safe ride home, trouble free!

Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!

* Source : L’Unique General Insurance

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