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Drinking, Driving, Insurance

If you've ever had a drink and gotten behind the wheel read on

By Lee Romanov

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Recently, new Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino called drunk driving "the leading cause of criminal death in this country".

As InsuranceHotline.com President Lee Romanov points out, "While drunk drivers kill 4 Canadians every day and impact the lives of 70,000 annually, most people have absolutely no idea what exactly happens when they're arrested for drunk driving ? from the arrest to the court process ? or what it means for their car insurance."

If you've ever had a drink and gotten behind the wheel read on

Click on this (www.insurancehotline.com/romanov/romanov48.html)link to read about the secrets that you wouldn't even think to ask about drunk driving, including:

  • Police Reports
  • Court Appearances
  • Penalties
  • Insurance Ramifications

    RATE EXAMPLE

    Here are the insurance rates, showing the spread from lowest to highest, for a 19 year old, compared to a 40 year old with a DUI conviction, and an accident.

    These examples compared the top 30 insurance companies' rates from InsuranceHotline.com's unbiased rating guide:

    19 Year Old - Impaired Conviction & Licence Suspension:

    The spread of rates is between $12,455 and $16,572.

    19 Year Old - Accident & Impaired Conviction & Licence Suspension:

    The spread of rates is between $15,749 and $20,070.

    40 Year Old - Impaired Conviction & Licence Suspension:

    The spread of rates is between $7,430 and $8,304.

    40 Year Old - Accident & Impaired Conviction & Licence Suspension:

    The spread of rates is between $8,463 and $11,728.

    "These insurance rates are reflective even if there's a fatality. A few thousand dollars if the person wants to drive again is too little a cost when compared to loss of life," says Romanov. "And the police fine for a DUI is only $600."

    People try to determine their own blood alcohol level test in their head by comparing their drinks to their body weight. Mental math is hard enough, but while you're under the influence it's impossible to determine if you're sober enough to drive.

    "The solution may be to equip all restaurants and bars with a breathalyzer at the door so you can quickly check your alcohol level before getting behind the wheel. We have the technology to do this," Romanov says.

    InsuranceHotline.com's Stephanie Lewis, VP of Media, with 18 years experience as a broker, has seen drivers with DUI charges being down graded to less serious offences by the courts, which may bump their insurance rate up by a mere $1,000.