Drink-driving conviction can cost £70,000

As Christmas approaches, IAM Roadsmart warns the personal financial cost of a drink-driving conviction can be £70,000

Motorists caught drink-driving this Christmas could end up being £70,000 out of pocket when all the personal financial costs of their conviction are taken into account, a road safety charity has warned.

IAM Roadsmart - formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists - points out that those who are convicted of a drink-driving offence face fines, legal fees, higher car insurance premiums, alternative transport costs and potential loss of earnings.

Research by the organisation suggests fines associated with the conviction could be £5,000, the previous maximum fine - though a conviction now brings a limitless financial penalty. Legal fees following conviction after a not guilty plea come in at an average of £11,000, while increased car insurance premiums typically run to £13,500 over five years, the period for which drivers must tell insurers about a conviction.

During a ban, offenders can also expect to rack up £2,000 in taxi or public transportation bills while they don’t have a car, plus a loss in earnings of £38,500 over 15 months is possible based on the average UK salary, and unemployment following a conviction.

Official Government figures show there were 250 fatal drink-driving accidents in 2017 - the highest number since 2010. This was despite 2017 only seeing 326,000 roadside breath tests, compared with 737,000 in 2010.

Around a fifth of drink-driving convictions and a third of roadside breath tests take place the morning after the night the suspect has allegedly been drinking, between the hours of 7am and 1pm.

December 2018 saw a 16 per cent rise in drink-driving offences compared with the same month the previous year. Typically, around 20 per cent of drink-driving offences for any given year take place in December.

Roads minister Baroness Vere commented: “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.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM Roadsmart, said: “Drink-driving wrecks lives and is totally unacceptable in any circumstance. However, some people still think they are safe to drive when they’ve had just a couple of drinks or are using home measures, which can quickly push them over the limit.

“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.”

What is the drink driving limit? Find out more about the UK law here...

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
21 Oct 2021
New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range
Hyundai Ioniq 6 - watermarked

New Hyundai Ioniq 6 targeting Tesla Model 3 with 311-mile range

The new Hyundai Ioniq 6 saloon will join the Ioniq 5 in the brand’s all-electric line-up and our exclusive image previews how it could look
21 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021