What Is The Price of a Drink Driving Conviction?
Most of us have seen the anti drink drive TV adverts they roll out every Christmas Season of the bartender playing the many parts – the boss, the motor trader, the defendant… but what about the actual cost. The financial hidden cost?
We are often contacted by people desperate to save their licence. They say they need their licence to do their job, they need it to get their children to and from school and activities, or they need it to act as a carer for an elderly relative. None of these are reasons for the court not to disqualify you, nor to avoid a conviction. To do either of these there needs to be legal grounds.
I was contacted last week by a gentleman who was convicted of Drink Driving back in 2012. He was disqualified from driving, he was offered and completed the Drink Drive Rehabilitation course, he had served his sentence, paid his fine, got his licence back and was doing his very best to move forward with his life.
Then he received an email from his former Insurance Company. The Insurer who held the policy at the time of his arrest.
You see for this particular gentlemen the incident that called him to the attention of the police was that he had an accident. He had an accident, he was breathalysed at the scene and he was found to be over the limit.
The conviction for Drink Driving meant that his Insurers did not need to pay out for the damage to his own vehicle but his understanding was that, under the terms and conditions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and agreement between the Motor Insurers Bureau and Department of Transport that the third party claim would be honoured. What he failed to realise was that these provisions also allow the Insurer to pursue him for these costs.
Last week he received an email requesting payment of almost £35,000. Yes, you read that correctly, almost £35,000. To break it down for you a little further they were seeking recovery of costs calculated as follows:
* £10,000 Legal costs
* £13,000 Uninsured losses
* £2000 NHS Charges
* £10,000 Damage and hire
You may think this is excessive, that it must have been a massive accident with high value vehicles and significant personal injury – but this is not necessarily the case. The sums included in these matters add up very quickly. Imagine the injured party is off work for a couple of weeks, they need physio for a whiplash injury plus the initial consultation, maybe they are prescribed medication, they need to attend a couple of doctor’s appointments, possibly even attend the hospital for an x-ray. Did they have child car seats in the vehicle? These have to be replaced.
Everything adds up – and fast.
At Forrest Williams we never advise a client that they should plead Not Guilty unless we believe they have grounds to do so. What we will do is assess the evidence against you. We will talk with you. We will listen to you. And then we will advise you as to what we believe is the best course of action for you and you alone – we do not have a one size fits all service – we offer bespoke advice for each individual client, taking all of your individual circumstances into account. But we would always advise that the evidence against you is, at the very least, checked, because we understand just how serious – and expensive – a drink driving conviction can be.
If you are charged with an offence give our offices a call on 01623 397200 and we would be happy to talk with you about your situation and advise you further.
Can you afford not to?