Posts tagged with ‘drunk driving’
Drunk driving is defined as operating a vehicle while under the influenewith a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more. It is a very dangerous practice and risks the lives of the driver and anyone else on the road. In the United States, drunk driving is said to be the cause of 44 percent of all traffic fatalities.
In 2012, 32 million people in the U.S. drove after using drugs or drinking. For drunk driving, New Year’s Day is the worst day of the year, with over half of all fatal crashes involving a drunk driver. It might surprise you that New Year’s Eve doesn’t take the top spot, but it’s after midnight when drinkers leave parties and contemplate doing something very stupid. For anybody struggling with addiction, the risk of relapse is compounded by the possibility that—although not originally intending to drink or use drugs—you decide that you’re sober enough to drive home. If you need to consider whether you’re safe to drive, you probably aren’t. Think that’s extreme? Let’s look at the facts and statistics about drunk and drugged driving. Full Story
According to government figures there are 1.5 million arrests for drunk driving every year. Some of those convicted for drunk driving will be required to use ignition interlock devices, which are highly successful in deterring repeat offenders. Every state has its own separate guidelines for who is required to use one and who is not. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would like to see every state mandate the device for every person convicted of drunk driving.
No longer are 15-year-olds counting the days until they can get their driver’s license. According to AAA one out of every three teens is just not all that excited about driving and only 44 percent of them get their driver’s license within the first year of eligibility. Just 54 percent of teens get their license before age 18. One aspect of this trend is that it may be contributing to a decade-long decline in drinking and driving among young people, but the problem remains.
If potential devastating injuries and loss of life aren’t enough to deter drunk drivers, the hike in insurance rates might be.
A California-based study comparing quotes from an online insurance provider looked at the price increases receiving a DUI charge can have on a person’s auto insurance rates. In many cases, a DUI can cause a driver to see an increase in the range of several hundred dollars to several thousands, depending on their coverage and their age.
During the analysis, three major insurance providers in California were compared for three ages of drivers, and then compared again for whether or not the person had a DUI or not. Results indicate that when a driver receives a DUI, even without injury, their premium would rise by 41 percent, on average. For younger drivers, aged 19, a DUI meant they would see a premium increase 63 percent higher than the premium increase for a driver with a DUI who was 35 years of age.
Several factors are considered when insurance companies look at level of risk for a policyholder, but a DUI on the driver’s history puts that driver in a higher risk category and thus a higher premium. A driver who receives a DUI without injury can expect to see a large gamut of rate increases for insurance policies, ranging from 27 percent to up to 57 percent – dependent on the insurance companies methods and guidelines for acquiring higher-risk drivers.
If a person has lost their driver’s license during the DUI process, and is able to renew it once their suspension has concluded, they will be required to submit an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility Form to their insurance provider in many states. The SR-22 is a vehicle liability insurance form used to prove that a driver has met the required liability insurance coverage in the state in which they live.
The insurance provider will file a driver’s SR-22 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles to demonstrate that the driver has truly purchased car insurance before a license can be renewed. This prevents drivers with DUI convictions from avoiding paying for or purchasing their policy once its rates have been inflated, and also prevents drivers from taking out a policy to get a license back and then cancelling it. The SR-22 form also means drivers with DUI convictions will not be able to conceal their DUI charges as they apply for insurance. In many states, the SR-22 form will need to renewed by a driver for three to five years following their DUI conviction.
Once receiving a DUI conviction, a driver’s insurance rates can continue to climb with any additional tickets or infractions for years, totaling thousands of dollars in increased premiums. Insurance carriers may also choose to cancel a person’s policy once they receive a DUI, adding a double-blow to the rate hikes they will likely see as they try to renew insurance with both a policy cancellation and a DUI on their history.
The significant increase in auto insurance premiums are only one of the life-altering events that follow a DUI, and pale in comparison to a driver becoming seriously injured, killing another driver and enduring a lifetime of emotional consequences.
As part of state and federal efforts to save lives on the road, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs who want to “just say no” to a breathalyzer or other sobriety test may face serious penalties. Strict measures for refusing a DUI test are increasing in importance, especially when it comes to punishing repeat offenders, who may be searching for ways to avoid new arrests.
With the known risks in place for driving under the influence, it can be hard to understand why individuals continue to make the choice to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. According to a new study, this reason may have more to do with mental health than bad choices.
Driving while impaired (DWI) contributes significantly to traffic crashes, and is involved in more than one-third of all fatalities. Many DWI recidivists (drinking drivers who re-offend) do not participate in mandated alcohol-evaluation and intervention programs, or they continue to drink problematically after their licenses have been re-issued.