Car Insurance and drugs and alcohol

drink driving

Do you know how drinking and drugs impact on car insurance? 

“No claim will be paid if the driver is found to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.” This applies to all private and business vehicle insurance and for the first time the point is now being emphasised by insurance companies and brokers at the point of renewal or quotation.

The UK roll out of roadside drug testing has been criticised recently. The program has had very marked regional variations, with some police forces being far more aggressive in its implementation than neighbouring forces.

No data is yet available for its impact on drivers.

Business drivers and particularly businesses who are dependent on employees driving their vehicles have the double risk of both logistically losing a driver, but also facing having any insurance claim arising from an accident being declined by the insurance company. At this time it is not clear if this would extend to third party claims made against the driver, which may then be pursued personally against the driver and worst case, against the business who, it will be argued, may have irresponsibly allowed them to drive a company vehicle whilst ‘under the influence’.

It is recommended companies employing drivers take steps to ensure drivers are aware of the law and repercussions for driving with regard to drugs and alcohol. Where appropriate, the introducing of random screening can help both with awareness and with compliance. It also goes some way in allowing a defence against corporate neglect of duty.

The provision of “self-test” single use breath test kits for alcohol, allow drivers to self-regulate when placed in a situation of having had alcohol in the last 8-10 hours (morning after the night before scenario )

Where appropriate, the introducing of random drug and alcohol screening can help both with awareness and with compliance. It also goes some way in allowing a defence against corporate neglect of duty.

Contact UK Drug Testing for drug and alcohol testing kits and for help implementing a screening programme at work.

New police roadside drug testing legislation comes into force in UK

This week saw new rules come into force in the UK which allow the police to perform roadside drug testing on any driver they suspect to be under the influence of drugs. The test will be performed using a saliva drug testing kit which will give an immediate result within minutes. If the driver tests positive for any of the drugs then they will be taken back to the police station for further testing including a blood test.

The new rules are hoped to reduce the number of drug driving incidents, in a similar way that roadside breathalysers have reduced the incidence of drink driving.

The following drugs may now be tested for under the new rules :Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamine, Methadone & Benzodiazepines 

Some of these drugs are prescription drugs. The penalties for drug driving are similar to those for drink driving.

Penalties for drug driving include:
Someone convicted of drug driving will get:
-a minimum 1 year driving ban
-a fine of up to £5,000
-up to a year in prison
-a criminal record

The persons driving licence will also show that they have been convicted of drug driving. This will last for 11 years. When re-licenced it may be difficult to get insurance.

Click here to purchase saliva drug testing kits that screen for the same drugs as the new roadside drug testing in UK

Click here for wholesale drug tests 

Advice on choosing workplace drug testing kits for drivers 

Roadside Drug Testing | New Drug Driving Laws likely to be in Queen’s speech today

It is thought that the long expected new drug driving laws will be announced in the Queens speech later today. It is hoped that the new legislation will make driving while under the influence of drugs punishable in the same way that drink driving is. Currently it is quite hard for the police to get a successful conviction for ‘drug driving’. it is hoped that the new legislation will make the process simpler for the police.

It is thought the new legislation will also cover driving under the influence of certain prescription drugs that impair a drivers ability in a similar way to alcohol, as well as illegal drugs. Many prescription drugs have it written on the packet that you should not drive while taking them.

It is thought the police will be equipped with instant saliva drug tests to screen at the roadside and that if a driver tests positive they will be taken to a police station and retested on a calibrated machine. The penalties will likely be similar to drink driving. Roadside instant drug testing kits are already used by police in some countries.

Click here for more information on saliva drug testing kits