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June 26, 2013

The Cost of Drunken Driving Convictions…

June 26, 2013,

I & E Insurance Agency 2900 Route 88 Point Pleasant NJ 08742


The Cost of  Drunken Driving Convictions…

Everyday we hear commercials on TV, the radio and even on the internet how this company or that company can save you money on your auto Insurance… What they don’t tell you is some of the reason why rates head higher in the first place… The internet is great for those people who want fast coverage and don’t ask questions. But getting questions answered and getting your insurance explained is a whole different story—The point is you may be paying more for insurance because of those who pay less, in some cases nothing at all and those who abuse the system and use insurance companies as their own personal piggy bank. … Did you know for instance that it is estimated that in NJ as many as 27% of all cars on the road don’t have any insurance at all.  And that another large percentage of drivers, do so with minimal coverage, therein lies the bigger problem.

So, if you switch companies you may save some money over your last policy. But rates are heading higher now for a variety if reasons, but one thing not addressed lately is the cost of liability for alcohol related accidents. For instance in 2011, there were over 193 alcohol related driving fatalities with 21 deaths from under 21 aged drivers. And over 26,000 arrests for driving while impaired with 2200 arrest coming from under age 18 drivers. These statistics are frightening but also point out a serious problem. Those who drink and drive continue to do so despite laws and jail time. Just this past March, I read a report about a driver that was thrown in jail for his 13th conviction… Absolutely insanity, why isn’t this person in jail, the book thrown at him, why is he allowed to get back on the road with a loaded weapon?  There are case after cases of this happening. While financial penalties, increased cost of insurance and fines continue to go up against drunk drivers, it’s not unusual for hardcore drunks to use loop holes and the legal system to avoid penalties and jail time and be back on the road in no time.

The only people winning here are the lawyers, but penalties and consequences are getting even tougher now.

The Drunken Driving arrest has major considerations and offenders are treated differently depending on the number of prior offenses. There can be several costs including state and local municipal charges, auto impound fees, costs to paid by the convicted driver to The drunken driving programs and increased jail time. A first time offender can loose his license for as much as 30 days and get jail time. It’s not unusual for his auto insurance to be canceled or his premiums to go up thousands of dollars for as many as three years or longer. A second offender can expect to loose his license for as much as 2 years, face jail time and be fined even more.  A third time offender can loose his license for as much as 10 years, pay thousands in fines, serve jail time and perform community service. Of course all of this may be minor, if someone were killed.  If that occurs, the driver can expect to face murder charges, huge fines and the guilt of taking a life.

Presently convicted offenders have to buy and install an Ignition Interlock Device that will be installed after the suspension period is over, the length determined by the legal system. The consequences from drunk driving are tough. But if you do face a minor under the influence charge, do some research which can help you get back on the road, but don’t repeat the offense. Depending on your circumstance you many be able to get a better NJ auto Insurance quote than your prior company may offer. But to keep your insurance costs lower, stay sober.

Another problem we should all keep our eyes on, is the laws as they change towards Marijuana possession and driving under the influence of POT. In several states, recreational and medical usage of POT has been approved; other states may find the ability to raise substantial revenues from taxing POT too irresistible especially since they can use the money to help pay for the massive deficits that they have accumulated. But the short term benefits may be overshadowed and prove fleeting as we look at the longer term costs of legal POT. There’s no doubt in this writers mind that POT usage will go up, and accidents will occur from the usage. One only has to look at drunk drivers on the roads now. 

And then there’s the problem of driving under the influence of a smart phone. It’s so common to see people using their cell phones and texting everyday while driving.  Just last month this writer’s son was hit by a car as it went through a red light, the driver texting her girlfriend. So effectively people are distracted when driving by a whole variety of excuses. Now just throw in people smoking POT easily and often and there’s no doubt that we will see more accidents on roadways and thus higher insurance rates. Like every bad habit, POT, Alcohol, and cellular phones, are just more reasons why costs continue to rise; it’s just a question when you will pay for it. So if we are looking to blame anyone for higher rates, all most of us have to do is look in a mirror …..

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You may wish to consult a competent attorney, tax advisor, accountant, or your own financial advisor. EMC Insurance Agency & Financial Services LLC dba I & E Insurance Agency & Financial Services is an Independent Insurance Agency, a Member of the Trusted Choice, Independent Agents of America & PIA contact your own advisors before making any financial decision. Services offered through independent NON-AFFILIATED ENTITIES

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