Motorists who are convicted of drink driving could find themselves unable to get car insurance in the future, so they should avoid driving after a festive tipple this Christmas, moneysupermarket.com has warned.
If being convicted of driving having had too much to drink does not leave the driver completely uninsurable, then they could find that their car insurance premiums double, the price comparison website said.
As many as one in eight drivers admitted to driving after drinking what they thought was 'over the limit', a study from the Home Office found.
Some of the UK's biggest car insurance companies will still offer cover to convicted drink drivers, research carried out by moneysupermarket found, but they will pay the price for their crime as the average car insurance premium of a convicted drink driver increases from £300 to £578 a year – a £278 difference for the sake of having that drink.
Meanwhile, other car insurance providers said that they would refuse to even offer a quote to drivers who have been caught drink driving, and others will not cover motorists for five years after they have been banned from driving.
Reacting to the findings, Steve Sweeney, head of car insurance at moneysupermarket.com, said: "As the Christmas party season begins, we are all guilty of letting our hair down with a sneaky tipple to get into the festive spirit, but if you are planning on drinking it is essential to have adequate travel arrangements to get you home.
"Driving under the influence of alcohol is simply not an option, and anyone planning on doing so will have serious consequences to face. It is not only the risk to your own safety that needs consideration, but a second thought must be paid to others around you, pedestrians and road users alike."
Driving whilst over the legal alcohol limit can lead to a fine, a driving ban, or even a prison sentence, he said, "so it is simply not worth taking the risk."
"Even drinking under the legal limit is a tricky game to play. Motorists need to be aware of the affects that drinking alcohol has on your body; reaction times can be considerably slower, and coordination and judgement skewed. It is also important to remember that each person is different - gender, age, weight, and metabolism are also factors when considering alcohol consumption," he explained.
"My advice to anyone planning on driving over the festive period is to stick to the soft drinks."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd