December 9, 2016

Before you Drink and Drive…

The Holiday season is upon us which means there will be a lot of people travelling to and from holiday parties, and generally, partaking in more alcohol consumption. Just remember, if you get caught drinking and driving, along with dealing with implications of the law, you’ll need to deal with your insurance company.

Last weekend the London Police reported four arrests for impaired driving.

Are you heading to a holiday party this weekend? Next week? If not, surely you will be in the coming weeks.

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re visiting over the holidays. A glass (or two) of wine here- a beer (or two) there- and before you know it, you’re feeling a little buzzed.

According to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario, “even one drink can reduce your ability to react to things that happen suddenly while you are driving.” And when you’re sitting at the side of the road with the police, they will determine your charge based on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

In Ontario and the rest of Canada, the maximum legal BAC for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). Driving with BAC over 0.08 is a criminal offence.

So, this is just a reminder that if you plan on drinking – don’t get behind the wheel. Just don’t do it. Make a plan before you go out – take a cab, call a friend or stay over. Along with possibly ruining your life and someone else’s, you’ll have a whole lot more to deal with should you be convicted.

Here’s the short list: You will…

  • lose your license
  • have your vehicle impounded
  • need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
  • need to attend an education or treatment program
  • be fined upon conviction
  • be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle (which is pricey – up to $2000)
  • spend time in jail
  • end up with a criminal record


Along with dealing with these implications, you’ll need to deal with your insurance company. As this article from the Globe and Mail states, insurance companies don’t like risk:

In speaking with Glen Coopman, spokesman for Aviva, “like most private Canadian insurance companies, Aviva won’t insure drivers convicted of impaired driving for three years after the conviction. Drivers who can’t get insurance from a regular company have to move to facility insurance, ‘the market of last chance for drivers who cannot find insurance elsewhere[.]’” (source).

When you get charged with impaired driving, your insurance rates will automatically double, and you will most likely need look for insurance elsewhere since your original insurance company will deem you as too much of a risk. Insurance companies have also done research to prove that once a driver has been caught a first time, they are 30 to 40 per cent likely to be involved in an accident. (source) So, you’ll be looking at paying a price – up to $8000 more a year.

The bottom line is, it’s not worth it. You’ll end up seriously paying for it- in a variety of ways.

Just keep that in mind when you head out this Holiday season.