Thousands of accidents are caused by drunk drivers in the UK every year, so it's important for everyone to appreciate what they should do and where they stand regarding the law if they are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with a drunk driver.
Driving your car after consuming any amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely and should of course be avoided. Driving safely requires you to be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, any level of alcohol or fatigue will impair these faculties and the effects will also vary from one person to the next.
For the reasons outlined above we will not advise our visitors as to what is a 'safe' level of alcohol as we believe you should not drink at all when driving. If you want to avoid causing a drink driving related accident yourself, simply take a bus or taxi to your destination if you intend to consume alcohol.
If you do drink and drive and you are caught by the police, you could face a one year driving ban, a £5000 fine or up to six months in prison.
Having a car accident with a drunk driver
Unfortunately there will always be drivers who are foolish enough to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after a few drinks so it's a good idea to know exactly what to do if you have an accident with someone you believe may have been drinking.
If you have had an accident with someone you suspect has been drinking it is important that you call the police while you are at the scene. It is probably wise not to alert the other driver to this fact as it may aggravate what is already a stressful situation.
When the police arrive they will ask the driver to take a breath test if they believe your suspicions are correct. If the driver refuses they will take them directly to the police station and typically ask them to provide two specimens of breath for analysis. If the driver refuses to comply with this second request without a reasonable excuse, then they would be considered to have committed an offence.
As with any road accident you should always get details of the other driver or driver's involved and any witnesses to the accident. These details should include names, addresses, vehicle registration, make of the vehicle and it's colour. You should also of course find out the name of their insurers.
In addition to this basic information you should also take photographs of the damage to the vehicles, their positions on the road and make notes as well if possible. The police will also take this information when they arrive but it is in your interests to do this as well beforehand as it will help with your accident claim.
What happens regarding my accident claim?
You should always inform your claims advisor and/or your insurer as soon as possible after the accident.
If the other driver proves to be over the limit you are likely to have a very good case against them and your claims advisor or insurer should be able to recover the costs associated with your claim from the at-fault drivers insurer.
If the at-fault driver proves not to be insured your claims advisor or insurer may still be able to recover some of these costs from the Motor Insurers Bureau or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Your claims advisor or insurer should be able to help in this situation.
If you have had a car accident that was not your fault, please give us a call us on 02392 484 244 or start your free claim enquiry online using the button below. One of our experienced UK based claims advisors will be happy to assist you.