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December Is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month: Exploring the Auto Insurance Repercussions of an Impaired Driving Conviction

Drinking and driving is one of the leading road safety concerns for Canadians and drivers around the world. According to Change the Conversation, “Drinking and driving continues to be one of the largest contributors to the road crash problem in many countries around the world; in Canada, alcohol has been a factor in 30% to 40% of road deaths for the past 15 years.”
With the holiday season approaching, now is the perfect time for a reminder to refrain from drinking and driving. December is also National Impaired Driving Prevention month. If you have not seen them already, expect to see a steady increase of RIDE programs in your area. The good news is fatalities involving drunk drivers are declining, but we still have work to do.

The Impact of Being Convicted of Impaired Driving in Ontario

Driving while impaired can seriously impact your cognitive abilities, cause you to have slower reflexes, blur your vision and cause you to make poor decisions. All of these put you and others at risk. You could get into an accident, injure or even kill yourself or others.
If you are charged with drinking and driving, you risk:
·         Losing your driver’s licence
·         Having your vehicle impounded
·         Getting jail time and fines
·         Being required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
·         Being required to enter a treatment program

Auto Insurance Repercussions

While they may be the least of your worries if you are caught drinking and driving, you risk not being able to get insurance, and you will be labelled a high risk driver by auto insurance companies.
“In our view, an impaired driver is more likely to be a repeat offender and has an increased risk of causing a serious accident,” says Glenn Cooper, spokesman for Aviva to The Globe and Mail. “Those convicted of impaired driving, even if not involved in an accident, have made an unsafe choice putting many others at risk.”
MADD agrees – they estimate that 30% of drivers who have a previous impaired conviction will get another one within 10 years.
If you are convicted of impaired driving in Ontario, you may have difficulty finding an insurance company to insure you. You can also expect your auto insurance rates to increase significantly. “In Ontario, a typical impaired conviction will move your insurance premiums from around $2,000 to between $8,500 and $10,000 a year – that’s a lot of money,” says MADD CEO Andrew Murie – not a price that is affordable for the average driver.

You Have Options – Don’t Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving is never an option you should choose. You can:
·         Take a taxi, use a designated driver service or take public transportation
·         Walk
·         Call a friend or family member
·         Stay the night
·         Plan ahead and have a designated driver for the evening

The important thing to do is plan a ride home before you start drinking.

Even if you have been convicted of drinking and driving, you may still have auto insurance coverage options. Contact me today to discuss your car insurance policy options.


Posted: 12/2/2015 9:42:42 AM by Marianne Cipollone | with 0 comments
Filed under: auto, broker, insurance, Ontario, Road, safety, Toronto

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