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Pillion behind rider over the limit

I have a compensation claim due to an accident last summer. I was on the back of my friend’s bike as he was giving me a lift home. We had been at a friend’s party and I didn’t see my mate drink any alcohol so I thought it was safe to go with him. He lost control on a bend and we both came off. He was breathalysed and convicted for driving under the influence of excess alcohol and banned and fined. His insurers are now saying they won’t pay me compensation as I knew he was drinking but I decided to get on the bike anyway. This is not fair as I had no idea he had been drinking. Can you offer any advice?

Ryan Ball, Middlesbrough



In England the alcohol limit for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath, or 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine. Anything over this and the driver is likely to be prosecuted in accordance with Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

You need to get witness evidence to help prove you had no idea that he was drinking at the party as well as giving your own evidence. If the insurer shows that you knew that your friend was drinking alcohol to the extent he was over the prescribed limit then you may well find you will receive reduced compensation as a result of your contributory negligence. A 20% reduction is common.



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