CAA-Quebec study - Impaired driving ruins lives... and puts a major dent in your wallet!



    QUEBEC, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ - High school graduations, heat waves,
vacations... at this time of the year, CAA-Quebec would like to remind
everyone that the risks involved in driving under the influence are not only
substantial with respect to road safety, they can also have a tremendous
impact on personal finances. According to CAA-Quebec estimates, the cost of a
first-time impaired driving conviction can reach almost $8,000.

    A question of money - "In this year of road safety in Quebec, it is
important to remember that even without aggravating circumstances - death,
injuries or material damage - a driver who is found to be driving under the
influence will suffer the financial consequences of his or her actions for
several years to come, in addition to having a criminal record and losing
driving privileges for at least one year," stresses Sophie Gagnon, Director,
Public and Government Relations, CAA-Quebec.
    According to a recent CAA-Quebec study (which can be viewed at
www.caaquebec.com), a 24-year-old male driver with a previously clean record
who owns a 2003 Honda Civic and lives in the Montreal area could be required
to pay up to $7,700 following a first impaired driving conviction-and that's
just in the first year! For a 40-year-old male driver with a previously clean
driving record who owns a 2006 Honda Accord and lives in the Montreal area,
the total could be as much as $6,200.
    Here is how the figures add up-a driver who is found guilty of driving
under the influence will not only have a criminal record and lose driving
privileges for one year, he or she will also have to pay the following
amounts:

    
    - Towing fees ($85);
    - Vehicle storage ($18);
    - Fine (minimum $600);
    - Mandatory Alcofrein information session ($150);
    - Evaluation of his or her alcohol-related behaviour ($159);
    - Legal fees (minimum $285);
    - Supplementary insurance fee to the Société de l'assurance automobile du
      Québec (SAAQ) to obtain a new driver's licence ($300);
    - Increase in private auto insurance premiums of as much as $4,199 for a
      24-year-old male driver and $2,680 for a 40-year-old male driver;
    - Copies of the court ruling in English and French ($479).
    

    Other fees may also apply, including those related to installing an
alcohol-ignition interlock device in the vehicle of people who do not lose
driving privileges following a conviction and the long-term impact on private
auto insurance rates.

    Dismal road safety record and youth at risk - According to SAAQ
statistics on impaired driving, 30% of drivers who lost their lives in 2005 -
or 102 people - had a blood-alcohol level that exceeded the legal limit.
    Between 2001 and 2005, 43% of drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 who
died on the roads had consumed alcohol, despite the fact that the
zero-tolerance rule applies to learning drivers and drivers with a
probationary licence. "Because they are inexperienced, reckless and often
travel in groups, young people run high risks when they mix alcohol and
driving," Ms. Gagnon adds. "Education, awareness campaigns and thorough police
monitoring are essential in order to improve the road safety record in this
matter."

    A pioneer in road safety, CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization
founded in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial
services, benefits and privileges to its 900,000 members.

    Note: The full study can be viewed under Automotive Tips in the
    Automobile section of www.caaquebec.com.




For further information:

For further information: Roxanne Héroux, Montreal, (514) 861-7111, ext.
3210

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