image title

Ill-Effects of Drunk Driving: From Bars to Behind Bars

Karen Menezes Karen Menezes 22 September 2016

Feel like driving back home after downing those two pegs? Get ready for a reality check because after reading this, you wouldn’t dare to drink and drive anymore.

Drunk Driving

The festive season is approaching. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and mark more milestones in our lives. Apart from that, the weekends continue to call out all the party-animals!

You can be bold enough to go ‘on the rocks’ or ‘pop the bubbly’. But, don’t be so much bold enough to think you can drive back home after the act. Because you can’t. No one can. And no one should.

Inspite of stringent laws pertaining to drink and drive in India, there are still those who happily continue to flout the rules because they just don’t care.

You drink and drive, you are definitely going behind bars, but have you ever thought how that one irresponsible act can have an impact on your car insurance? No?

Then let’s find out!

What Alcohol Really Does to You?

• It slows down the activities of the brain
• Needs no digestion and is easily absorbed into your blood stream
• Contains absolutely no nutrients
• Does not relieve tension, solve problems, or induce sleep

It alters your driving capabilities –

Drinking and driving impairs judgement power of driver causing threat to road safety. Even at low levels, it deteriorates driving skills and with rising blood alcohol levels, it increases the probability of accidents. As a driver, you end up becoming aggressive, taking more risks and longer time to react.

The Number of Fatalities Refuse to Drop Down

It is true – India owns some of the world’s deadliest roads! The country reports of more than 1.34 lakhs lives lost each year in road accidents. Out of this 70% of them are due to drunken driving.

Drunk driving continues to leave a trail of accidents, fatalities and injuries. All young motorists (20 – 24 years) fail breath tests more than any other age group.

It Also Depends on How Your Body Processes Alcohol

Not all those who are caught, set out to break the law on purpose. At times, some drivers who don’t drive at night after consuming alcohol, but decide to drive the next day in the morning actually end up getting caught? How? Why?

Well, that’s because they are still over the legal alcohol limit by the time they get behind the wheel the next morning.

Note that the example you are going to read now below is just a theoretical reference. Everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol. What may appear to be within the permissible limit, may actually be above when you’re tested. Age, weight, gender, and rate of metabolism may have a bearing on how you react to alcohol.

An average male who weighs around 60 kg can stay within the legal limit perhaps if he consumes around 2 pints of beer (660 ml) or two glasses of wine (200 ml) or 1 large whiskey peg (60 ml).

The human body takes around one hour to process approximately 29 ml of alcohol. Every liquor contains different alcohol content. If you want to drive without your coordination and judgement skills being affected, you have to wait for atleast 90 minutes after consuming alcohol to get into the legal limit.

But, why take the risk? It won’t hurt if you could just leave your car at home if you’re going out to drink. When returning home, you could just call up Uber cabs or any private taxi service or perhaps take an auto rickshaw.

If you don’t want to hire a taxi, then you can consider hiring a designated driver who will not consume alcohol at the party but will drive you to and fro

Choose to drive the vehicle yourself, and you’re putting a lot at stake, you know.

And Our Indian Laws Just Got Super-Strict

Recently, the Union Cabinet approved the proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. A person caught in the act would have to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 (which was earlier Rs. 2000) and imprisonment from 6 months to 4 years.

Depending on the content of alcohol in the blood, the penalties assessed would differ at the time of offence. Currently, the blood alcohol content legal limit is 0.03% or 30 µl alcohol in 100 ml blood.

If you are caught driving with more than this limit, you can be booked for violating the Section 185 under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Drunk Driving Charges Do Impact Your Car Insurance

• Claim rejection

If you meet with an accident while you were driving under the influence of alcohol, your insurance company will reject your claim. This is a very common exclusion that is pre-determined by insurers. It will be mentioned in your policy document. So, always make you sure you read the inclusions and exclusions of your car insurance policy.

• Hike in premiums

If you have a criminal record due to drunk driving convictions, you would lose your job and you won’t be able to purchase an apartment or obtain credit. Most importantly – it would cost you extra insurance premiums.

Each time you violate a traffic law or are convicted with drunk driving charges, you are inviting trouble of increased insurance rates. Looking at your messed up driving records, your insurance company would assume that you are a high risk to them and accordingly would increase the insurance rates.

• Refusal in offering coverage

Moreover, finding an insurer who is willing to cover you after your drunk driving convictions is bound to get difficult.

Avoid consuming alcohol and driving. Make sure you drive safe and take responsibility when on the roads. :)

SPECIAL NOTE: If your car is more or less new or if you’re driving skills aren’t up to the mark, then it is recommended to opt for the zero depreciation car insurance add-on cover. With this add-on, if you make a claim, your insurer wouldn’t take depreciation of car parts into account at the time of paying you compensation.

You pay a little additional premium. But, in the event of an accident, you actually save up immensely.

Karen Menezes
Written by Karen Menezes
An optimist at heart, Karen loves to see the world through a pair of rose-tinted glasses. An award-winning blogger, she loves to dream with her eyes open. Writing is not her passion, it’s an OCD! If at all she isn’t writing, you can find her shopping online or experimenting with DIY recipes.