Car Insurance and Drug Driving
October 17, 2011, Press Dispensary. Most people know the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, driving under the influence of drugs is something that people may not think twice about despite the fact that the penalties could be more severe than those of drink driving.
Drug driving is an offence under the same law as drink driving. If a driver is found with drugs in their system they stand a high chance of being found guilty of drug driving. Many people believe that the police do not have ways of detecting drug driving as there is an absence of standardised roadside tests such as the breathalyser. However, there are quite a few tell tale signs that police are trained to look out for:
Drugs can often have an effect on the eyes. Cannabis can cause eyes to become bloodshot, and ecstasy and cocaine often make drivers pupils enlarged.
Secondly drugs could impair users’ coordination. Police use a technique known as ‘Field Impairment Assessment’ which can be administered by trained Police Officers at the roadside to observe and check balance and coordination.
If the police suspect a driver of being under the influence of drugs they are able to make an arrest and instruct a doctor to perform a blood test.
Drivers who are caught drug driving can face severe consequences. This can include; a minimum of twelve months driving ban; a criminal record and fines of up to £5000. Convictions such as this will increase car insurance premiums significantly. Not only that, if the driver is found in possession of drugs they can also receive a prison sentence of up to 5 years dependent on the drug they are found with.
Motorists also may not be aware that the law does not differentiate between illegal and legal drugs. Many legal drugs bought over the counter can have side effects that are also capable of impairing a driver’s coordination including antihistamines (often used to treat the effects of allergies such as hay-fever) and some antidepressants. If the police believe a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of legal drugs, they apply the same rules to if they suspect you of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
The effect on car insurance of having a drug driving conviction can be very costly. Car insurance quotes that were run on car insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk show that for a 30 year old man driving a Ford Fiesta, having a drug driving conviction could push up the cost of insurance by more than 200%. For a 20 year old driving the same car, insurance premiums could go up by almost 400%!
A spokesperson from popular car insurance comparison website Tiger.co.uk said, “Being behind the wheel when under the influence of drugs shows a huge disregard for road safety, and the welfare of others. While most ‘over the counter’ medications will not affect your driving ability it is always wise to check with your GP whether or not it is safe to drive. People with convictions for drug driving will find it difficult to find cheap car insurance and we would encourage all motorists to stay safe and legal on the roads.”
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Notes for editors
Tiger.co.uk is a trading name of Call Connection Ltd. Tiger.co.uk is a UK based, independent price comparison site, offering insurance quotes from over 140 motor insurance brands. Call Connection Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (number 308374)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Jo Buck, Tiger.co.uk
Tel: 01473 418513