Many vehicle owners who get drunk before driving, think that in case of an accident the car insurance will cover the damage, caused to the injured party, or the person responsible for the accident. This also applies to medical care funds. On the contrary, no insurance company will cover insurance claims if they arise the result of driving under alcohol influence (DUI). In addition, drunk driving can affect the vehicle insurance costs (increase or hull insurance) upon subsequent registration of the insurance policy. So how DUI affects insurance rates?
DUI, what is it?
Stands for driving with alcohol influence is called DUI. Additionally, in some cases, it becomes synonymous for DWI, which means – driving while intoxicated, or alternatively OUI – operating under the influence.
But most of the states distinguish such offenses and this is why insurance policies can be different in some of them. If you ever had been cached in this condition, then insurance companies will put you in the riskiest group, and obviously, your insurance premium will go up.
For example, let’s see what DUI can get you in:
- A drunk driver is not able to truly realize the risky situation, the potential danger that leads to accidents with increased severity of consequences.
- Alcohol kills the ability to think clearly and drive a vehicle safely, and is one of frequently causes of most fatal accidents.
- Alcohol is the cause of slowing down, weakening of the mental and physical body functions.
- Drunk driver loses competence, composure, concentration, and the ability to make adequate decisions.
- The distorted estimation of the distance of the object disorients a person, causes a false perception of the environment, and the performance of the action that contradict real requirements in difficult, extreme situations.
As a result, an unjustified change in speed, sudden braking, ignoring traffic lights, road signs, markings, car lights, chaotic gear changes, and headlights can happen. This is how DUI affects insurance rates.
Different states approach
Everyone should know that there is a different approach in some of the states and they can have its own road laws and special regulations regarding driving under the influence and comparable violations. In case, you’re charged, you will definitely need help of a DUI attorney. You must prepare yourself to the legal proceedings, besides even guilty pledge.
The better way is not to drive when you are under alcohol influence. You will not just save your own life but other lives as well!
Alcohol driver intoxication increases the risk of collision with pedestrians, oncoming vehicles, departing into a ditch, not fitting into a turn, an accident when overtaking. Alcohol inhibits danger response! Intoxication increases the risk of death or injury during or after an accident! You risk yourself and condemn innocent people to the sad fate of anything!
Possible alcohol levels
Behavior, human reaction depends on the degree of intoxication. The presence of alcohol in the blood is considered in ppm:
- 8-1.2% – slight intoxication;
- 3-2.4% – average degree of sobriety;
- 5-3% – excessive intoxication;
- 3-4% – severe stage of intoxication, possibly poisoning, death;
- 5-6% – the critical rate – alcoholic coma.
Light intoxication leads to loss of ability to determine the distance adequately, to distinguish colors, ability to quickly respond to changes of the road conditions. The reaction slows down. Most drivers overestimate the sobriety degree, but the ability to drive a car is already reduced. There is a desire to overtake, and risky ride.
The average sobriety degree is expressed in a significant decrease in attention, reaction time, and rapid assessment of the situation. A man late notices obstacles, and he does not slow down, does not see the maneuvers of neighboring cars.
With excessive drunkenness, coordination, balance, and speech are disturbed. There is euphoria, inadequate arrogance, and lack of self-control. It is almost impossible to drive a car: the driver confuses the brake pedals, gas, forgets to turn on signals, switch the light and speed. Severe stage of intoxication causes poisoning, loss of mind, lethargy, hallucinations, loss of consciousness.
The state of intoxication in each person depends on the weight, sex, the strength of alcohol, snacks, and time taken:
- For a man, 80 kg, good biting, 0.16 ppm will be 20 ml. whiskey or 250 ml. of beer.
- For a guy 60 kg – 15 ml. whiskey or 200 ml. of beer.
- For women – 150-170 ml of light hop drink.
For a normal person, 0.5 liters of whiskey is displayed for 20 hours, a glass – for 8 hours, a small glass (60 grams) – for 2 hours. It all depends on the degree of the organism activity. Reducing the ability to drive a car under the influence of alcohol occurs when its concentration in the blood is even less than 0.5 ppm.
Drunk driving and insurance
For majority of companies, drunk drivers are unwanted customers. Such drivers have a greater risk of creating an accident or participating in accidents on the road, which make them more risky clients from the insurer point of view, compare with other insurance policyholders.
Remember, that if you are lucky not to get into an accident but you are caught driving a car while intoxicated, you will still need insurance after a while. Then you will find that the cost of the insurance policy will be increased by about 40%, and your bonuses accumulated over previous periods of trouble-free driving have been canceled. This is because now you are classified as a high-risk driver, and this automatically translates into higher coefficients for calculating the cost of insurance.
Third parties who have suffered as a result of an accident committed by an intoxicated driver, have every right to claim damages from their insurance company, which itself already deals with the perpetrator of an accident, and here you will know how DUI affects insurance rates. In addition, if the option of the payment increasing in case of death was purchased from the policy, in most cases it is unlikely to be paid by the company if the death occurred, as a result of driving while intoxicated.
You may not see changes immediately but you will do it most definitely at renewal, and some other factors include:
- general credit history;
- driver age (if you young, your policy will be more expensive);
- DUI number you had;
- what kind of insurance company you sign in.
If you have any previous discounts it will fall out from your insurance policy for many years, until the time when DUI will disappear from your records.
An accident caused by the policyholder, who is under the influence of alcohol, entails a change in the conditions of the insurance policy and an increase in its price. In this case, the cost of insurance will grow regardless of the circumstances of the incident. In other words, the insurance ratio will be increased to a greater extent for a drunk driver.
However, when calculating the cost of insurance, the violation rate will also be taken into account, and this is regulated by law. Therefore, it makes no sense to appeal the use of the violation rate in court. Now you know how DUI affects insurance rates, so be careful on the road.