With alcohol such a well-known risk factor in the causes of drink drive personal injury claims, no win no fee solicitors are concerned by recent research from Post Office Motor Insurance that shows 18% of UK drivers have got into a car with someone who they knew had drunk too much alcohol to be legally allowed to drive.
The organisation’s Safety on Wheels report revealed that people are more likely to get in the car with a friend who is over the limit, with this cited by 11% of respondents. This was followed by a family member, at 7%, and work colleagues at 4%.
But personal injury solicitors are also worried about the large number of people who appear to be unaware of the amount of alcohol they are allowed to drink before getting behind the wheel, with 68% of respondents to the research unable to do so. Among women, this proportion was 77%, whereas among men it was 60%.
Drunk people are also making other risky decisions in their effort to get home, the research discovered. A total of 7% of respondents said they had let another person drive their car when they were drunk, despite the fact that this would invalidate their insurance policy and cause additional difficulties if they were in a road traffic accident and needed to claim personal injury compensation against their insurer. Furthermore, 20% of all motorists said they have driven while hungover, which means they are were either above the limit or were very close to it, although these drivers did not necessarily admit that they have ever driven while drunk.
Drink driving – an admitted mistake
Personal injury solicitors take solace in the fact that the research revealed people often admit driving drunk was a mistake, and continue supporting legal penalties against people who drive drunk. Overall, 8% of people who have driven drunk said that they think it was a mistake in hindsight and that their judgement was clouded due to alcohol.
Furthermore, 48% of respondents said that drunk drivers should receive substantial fines when discovered, 46% said that they should have their driving licenses automatically revoked, and 13% said the offense should lead to automatic prison sentences.
Drink-drivers could cause innocent members of the public to suffer needless personal injuries, with no win no fee solicitors seeing a spike in the number of drink-drive road traffic accident claims over the festive period. People are likely to have a few drinks over the festive period, but if they choose to drive when they are drunk, they are not just breaking the law but are also acting in an immoral fashion.
Passengers should be vigilant about the risks of drunk driving and should not put themselves in danger for the sake of a car journey. People who knowingly get in a car with a drunk driver can expect to see any personal injury claims that result from the car journey reduced by 20%, and although passengers are not breaking the law, the mistake could prove to be very costly should the worst happen.