Not sensible:

We all know that drinking alcohol and then driving is not sensible and may well be illegal. Best not to risk it at all. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? You could kill someone (or several someones) or maim them. You could cause damage to property. You will lose your driving licence (which could also mean losing your job) and be fined heavily.

Not just the obvious:

There has also been an increase in taking drugs and driving. This is not just the obvious drugs such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis but the so-called legal highs of helium, nitrous oxide and even some prescription drugs which warn the user not to drive.

Why?:

So, why mention this on an insurance website? Firstly, having to declare a drink/drive (DR) or drug/drive (DG) code is going to make your premium higher that it would otherwise be. Secondly, – and this is something which has sort of crept in gradually – more and more insurers are adding drink/drive and drug drive exclusions clauses to motor insurance policies. This is a typical wording:

” This policy shall not apply (except to comply with the Road Traffic Acts) whilst your vehicle is being driven by you or any person insured to drive, should it be proved to our (the insurance company’s) satisfaction that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A conviction under the relevant law, including convictions for failing to provide a specimen of breath, blood or urine, shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence of the condition of the driver at the time of the occurrence.”

But what does it actually mean?:

Simply, you are not going to be paid for any damage to your vehicle if you are proved to be under the influence. Well, that could be costly but maybe not too dreadful. But, it doesn’t finish there. The bit about “except to comply………..Road Traffic Acts” means that the insurance company will pay compensation for damage to other people’s property and for personal injury because that is what the Road Traffic Acts say. Having done that, they will then come after you for repayment. For an even moderately serious injury, this could mean tens of thousands but for anything worse, it could mean millions.

Worth the risk?

Drinking and driving (or taking drugs and driving) never has been worth the risk. Now it is even less worth it. Please don’t take the chance – even for a short trip.