Drink-driving conviction could cost motorists £70k, warns IAM
Being caught for drink driving could cost motorists as much as £70k or even more, according to new research from IAM RoadSmart.
The road safety charity has calculated the cost, taking into account fines, legal fees, higher car insurance premiums, alternative transport costs and potential loss of earnings following conviction.
The overall £70k figure includes fines of £5k, although since these are now unlimited this could be much more, and legal fees that now average at £11k following conviction after a not-guilty plea.
The highest costs however would be a £38,500 loss of earnings for 15 months following a conviction, based on an average UK salary, and increased insurance premiums of £13,500 over five years after a driving disqualification.
The sum also includes a £2k figure for taxi and public transport costs for alternative transport during a ban.
The warning to drivers follows the start of this year’s Christmas roads policing operation, which will see police double the usual number of breath tests carried out the rest of the year.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy & research, said: “The £70,000 impact of being convicted of drink driving is very sobering. This should be more than enough, let alone the thought of causing any other suffering for yourself, your family or the other people you put at risk on the road, to stop those drivers who are tempted to have an extra drink and get behind the wheel.
“Our advice is therefore quite simply to always stick with ‘None for the Road’.”
Roads Minister Baroness Vere added: “Drink driving kills, so during the festive season don’t be tempted to have a drink before getting behind the wheel – it’s irresponsible and incredibly dangerous. We are working tirelessly, through schemes like our award-winning THINK! campaign, to tackle attitudes and behaviours that could lead to people drink driving, and we continue to invest in policing and enforcement on our roads.”