This is How to Fine Wealthy People for Dangerous Driving Offences

A British television presenter has been fined £86,000 (US $123,000) for drunk driving and the resultant collision he caused.  He was also banned (US: ‘suspended’) from driving for 20 months.

Sadly, this only represents a few days’ salary for this man, but of course it’s significantly more appropriate than giving rich people the same, relatively small fines that are doled out to ordinary working people.

The amount does, however, exceed the previous highest drink-driving fine I have ever heard of, which was given a few years ago to a very highly-paid Norwegian businesswoman who was caught driving just over that country’s strict 0.02% BAC limit (with no collision involved).

What is your opinion?  Do you think that the very wealthy should be given much higher fines than regular people when they seriously endanger other individuals’ safety?

If you wish to read the full UK article, it is Ant McPartlin given biggest ever drink-drive fine as he is told to pay £86k, from the Telegraph.

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at:

4 thoughts on “This is How to Fine Wealthy People for Dangerous Driving Offences”

  1. What strikes me most is that his BAC level would not even rise to the criminal threshold in North America.

    1. Are you confusing the current case from England with the historic case from Norway, Bill? My apologies if my wording misled you.

      The current limit in Britain is still 0.08% BAC (although it is expressed by different wording) and the man concerned was at roughly double that limit.

  2. If fines are involved, a fixed penalty has very different impacts on people, depending on their financial standing. Incarceration levels the playing field to some degree, but the richer clients can afford more expensive lawyers and thus avoid incarceration. Perhaps repeat offenders should be treated to mandatory prison sentences.
    This would assume there is honest policing. Sadly, that is not the case in all jurisdictions. My son was ticketed for apparently running a red light in the early hours of the morning. The officer stated he “could smell alcohol” on my son’s breath. After ‘blowing a zero’, the offense was switched back to running a red light. My son presented dash cam footage at court, and the prosecution chose not to proceed.

    1. Dishonest police officers — whether for corrupt financial reasons or not — do great harm wherever they are.

      Incidentally, John, the phrase to “smell alcohol” is quite rightly not permitted from officers in British courts because pure alcohol has no smell! The correct phrase when giving evidence is to “smell intoxicants.”

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