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Caithness.org News Bulletins -  November 2002

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Sky High Costs Will Follow Drink Driving Convictions
Reporting Drivers
If are or know anyone who has not thought about what might happen following a conviction for driving with a drink then make sure they realise that the costs are now severe.  Even if they do not cause damage or injury their is now  500 reward for anyone giving information to Crime Stoppers leading to a conviction for a drink driving related offence.  Whilst surveys suggest few people will take up the reward many more said they would phone the police to report a driver they suspect of regularly driving after drinking alcohol.

The Costs of Conviction
Loss of Driving License
The loss of your driving license - most drink related offences now carry outright bans and also large fines.

Costly Insurance
Insurance premiums may soar to very high levels as more and more insurance companies are using a conviction to deny a no claims bonus to drivers no matter what their previous record was.  This could triple the cost of insurance for some drivers.  Some companies are making the premiums even higher as they say drivers who drink are likely to cause more claims from not just themselves but other vehicles in accidents they cause.  In some cases insurance may be refused altogether.

Loss Of Employment
Many jobs now require a person to go to places to work other than their main office.  It could be for meetings, to see customers or just getting to work each day.   If someone cannot meet these obligations then an employer may be within his or her rights to end the employment.  Getting a new job in today's tough environment might be very difficult without a driving license.

What Is The total Cost
This will vary considerable from person to person but with initial fines and say a one year ban is is likely to be in the region of 2000 - 3000 at the lower end with the an unknown upper end if a person loses their job.  If you are older you may never get another one.  If you are young then your career chances may be blighted for a year or so but the cost will still be high not to mention the inconvenience.

The Devastated Lives
What is impossible to calculate is the mental anguish caused by a death or severe injury to another person whose family may have to bear the loss even more if that person cannot work after an accident not to mention the penalties that now follow an increasing number of accidents that include prison sentences.

Think About It - What Can You do?
Well it's easy - Book Your Taxi now for those nights out.  Get the telephone numbers in your purse or walletGet friends or relatives to drive you home after the night out.  But do not take lifts from people who have been out drinking and encourage them to leave the car.   A taxi round Wick or Thurso is about the price of one to two drinks.  For about 3 you can get anywhere.  Into the Caithness countryside might cost you 15 but if shared then the cost is a lot less.  Think about it 3 or 15 against the untold misery of a conviction for a drink related driving offence.  There have probably never been more taxis in the county than now.  Why not use them - they work till the early hours of the morning and although it can be difficult to get one at busy times a wait for one is preferable to being arrested. The police have another Christmas campaign on the go so you will probably be caught if not this time then next time.

All it takes is a little planning.  You are going to that dinner, dance, party.  Unless you are a teetotaller then most folk are going to have a drink offer you a drink - your boss is going to shower you in wine and drams (Where is this party?)  So get organised and have fun but don't spoil it for anyone else and if you are totally selfish think about losing the car, the reduced bank balance - the dole queue, PRISON BARS and sharing some quality time with other convicts, murderers, rapists, thieves and other anti- social individuals.

Walking is good for you and you will get almost anywhere if you keep going. 

Make it a Happy Holiday for everyone don't Drink and Drive