Impaired Driving Costs High

first_imgA criminal conviction, the loss of licence and a criminal record are not the only consequences of an impaired driving conviction, Ron Russell, minister responsible for the Insurance Act warned today, Dec. 19. “During the holiday season there are sometimes pressures to drink and drive,” Mr. Russell said. “But the cost of taking a taxi home is nothing compared to the potential costs of impaired driving.” “First and foremost is the threat to innocent people posed by impaired driving. But a conviction can also result in a hefty fine and costs of at least $1,000. And because these drivers present such a high risk to us all, it can have a devastating impact on your insurance costs.” In some cases, the additional costs could be as much as $14,000. Doug Murphy, the superintendent of insurance, cited the example of a married person, 35, with typical coverage for a four-door sedan. The penalty for an impaired driving conviction, a criminal offence, is a hefty fine and a licence suspension for one year. During the first year of suspension, the driver’s spouse would be able to obtain insurance at the previous rate of about $900 per year. However, during the first year of licence restoration, both the driver and spouse would be excluded from the mainstream insurance market and placed in the Facility Association for higher risk drivers. The driver usually requires Facility coverage for at least four years. This would result in premiums in the $6,000 range in each of the next two years and in the $2,500 range for each of the following two years. The total increased costs to the family is $13,000 to $14,000, plus fines, legal fees, and a criminal record. “There are inexpensive alternatives to drinking and driving, such as public transportation and taxis. And, of course, Operation Red Nose is free,” said Mr. Russell. “It makes sense to use them.”last_img

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