Drink driving is a serious conviction with serious consequences. Beyond the danger to the lives of yourself and others, it can land you with a hefty fine, a driving ban and even a lengthy prison sentence. On top of this, finding insurance following a conviction can be difficult and expensive.
This guide takes you through some details of drink driving convictions, how to find insurance, and how to keep the increased costs of cover following a conviction down.
In This Guide:
- What is drink driving?
- Can you get car insurance again following a drink driving conviction?
- How will drink driving affect the cost of car insurance?
What is drink driving?
Drink driving is driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol. There’s a certain limit of alcohol content in your blood that is allowed. If you’re found with anything above this limit, you’ll be convicted of driving under the influence. It’s hard to know exactly how much alcohol will put any one person over the limit so it’s always advisable to avoid alcohol when driving.
Being convicted of drink driving can have some very serious consequences. Even if you are not involved in an incident you can be given up to 6 months in prison, a driving ban or an unlimited fine. Other knock-on effects include significantly more expensive insurance (see below). If you cause death whilst driving under the influence, you could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.
You are not the only one your drink driving may affect. The Department for Transport recently released figures showing that in 2016 alone there were 9,050 casualties and 240 people were killed in drink-drive accidents.
Can you get car insurance again following a drink driving conviction?
Insurers don’t like drivers with drink driving convictions. If you’re beginning to drive again after a ban due to a conviction, it can be very difficult to find an insurer willing to cover you. This is because you are now seen as a high-risk driver. See our page on insurance for convicted drivers for more help on getting a policy.
You should remember that you are obliged to tell your insurer about your conviction, whether you are taking out a new policy or renewing an old one. If you don’t, your policy will almost certainly be void should you need to claim.
How will drink driving affect the cost of car insurance?
As mentioned above, having a drink driving conviction (DR10) can significantly increase the cost of your insurance. Even if your original insurer is willing to cover you, it’s common for your premium to at least double following your conviction. Depending on how serious your case is, it may well be even more expensive.
Insurers usually require you to declare a conviction such as drink driving for a minimum of three to five years, depending on the company. However, more serious convictions can leave points on your licence for as long as 11 years. Your car insurance is likely to remain higher throughout this period.