Caught drink driving?

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15 Dec 2015 22:33 by adco1 Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

H, I was recently on holiday in mallorca and somehow returning from a day on the Beach i skidded off the road and caused a serious amount of damage to my SIXT rental car.

No one else was involved just my wife and I.

The Police came in minutes and breath tested me, i was over the limit.

They took me to the station and again tested possitive for excess alcohol.

The SIXT car rental company have billed me for 9200 euros saying that the LDW was invalid and i must pay imeediatly.

Has anyone had a similar situation..?? Should i pay..?? or will they continue to chase me or Not as a resident in the UK

Any advice would be gladdly appreciated.







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15 Dec 2015 22:46 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

You have found out the hard way that  you have invalidated your insurance by being drunk. It most probabily states in the insurance policy that if you are drunk then you invalidate the policy. As such any damage caused to the car is your responsibility and you will have to pay. The rental company can and will chase you for their money as they have your U.K. licence, credit card and address. These companies have 'offices' in the U.K. and will most certainly chase you through the courts if necessarly for their money.

It is a salatory reminder not to drink and drive and that the alcohol you had last night is still in your system today!


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15 Dec 2015 23:12 by adco1 Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Ok thanks for you comments!!!





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16 Dec 2015 12:35 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

Adam, the comment from Steone may be right, but first off you need to read through your policy.  If you were not given one you are entitled to demand one.  The request should be in writing.

Even if the policy includes Condition/Exclusion that you don't want to see that is not necessarily the end of the story.  The hire company or their insurers may need to demonstrate that their exclusion is legal, reasonable and standard market practice.  They may also need to prove that they could reasonably expect you to be aware of the fact that the cover would be invalidated by your actions.

If you have any mitigating circumstances these should be made known immediately.   But presumably you have already made a statement to the Police.

If I were you I would approach Citizens Advice in Spain and ask them to clarify the attitude of the Spanish courts.  Also they may be able to put you in touch with a specialist local lawyer.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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16 Dec 2015 14:27 by adco1 Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Ok that makes great sense, i'll read through what they gave me and / or demand their policy etc.









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16 Dec 2015 19:10 by GuyT Star rating. 496 posts Send private message

I wouldn't pay at this stage. Sixt or their insurer may or may not decide to try and recover from you. They will have to jump through a few hoops and you may well have an opportunity to settle for less along the way. The €9 200 might have been notional. In the event they come after you they will  need to support their claim. I've never known a rental company give me a copy of their insurance policy, but you can be sure their terms and conditions will enable them to theoretically charge you whatever they like for any infringement. 




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16 Dec 2015 23:13 by adco1 Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Thanks again, ive had detailed correspondence from SIXT about the amounts and costs but there is knowhere in their literature about exclusions, and certainly was NOT aware that my LDW would Not be valid in the event of my behing over the drink drive limit.



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17 Dec 2015 07:43 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

That sounds hopeful, but at this stage you should work on the basis that you are building your defence.  I don't know the custom in Spain, but I think you would be wise to assume you are not out of the woods yet.  Part of strengthening your position is ensuring that every aspect that can assist you cause is in writing.  This may be vital if it goes to court.

As mentioned before you may receive some help from the local CAB - they have a website and generally communicate by email -

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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17 Dec 2015 09:01 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Clause I3 from Sixt General Conditions.

3. The lessee may limit the liability for damages from accidents/thefts by paying a special fee according to the price list to the agreed retention (contractual limitation of liability). In this case he shall be liable for damages attributable to accidents and/or thefts respectively wilful damage to the vehicle by third parties, exceeding the agreed retention only if: C.2; • the driver at the time of the accident was not in possession of a valid driver’s license or the fitness to drive was impaired due to alcohol, drugs or similar reasons; 

Full terms here





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17 Dec 2015 09:38 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

I have always understood, if one is over the limit they are not insured.   If a third party is involved, I believe they can claim from the Government backed Insurance Consortium, so hopeful the innocent party will not be at a loss. (We all pay  a percentage of our premiums to that consortium).

Some years ago an English  friend of mine was in an accident with a drunk driver and the police did not breathalyse that driver saying that if they did, and he was over the limit, my friend would not be able to claim from his insurance. I thought at the time the police were ‘helping’ the Spanish driver. I checked with a couple of lawyers and they confirmed what the police had said.

Also.  Be aware that in Spain if one’s DL has expired that too invalidates the insurance cover, as the policy states ‘holds a DL.’    That is unlike UK where the policies say or at least they did,  ‘Providing one holds or HAS HELD a D .

Adco, of course you might yet have notice from the police re the ‘over the limit’  charge and possibly dangerous driving charges.  All accidents are avoidable and therefore blameworthy. As you were the only one involved in your accident then it was your fault. Be thankful that you and your wife were not seriously injured or worse, and that no one else was killed or injured.  


This message was last edited by johnzx on 17/12/2015.

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17 Dec 2015 11:16 by Legend Star rating. 49 posts Send private message

Just be grateful you did not kill anybody 

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17 Dec 2015 11:43 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

John, I know you are right with part of your understanding.  But who is it that is making the claim?  Is it Adam or the car hire company?

Often the insurer provides an indemnity to the owner of the vehicle and then uses their subrogation rights which are written into the policy to claim back their outlay from the guilty party.

I have no experience of legal cases involving car hire/motor insurance generally, but this principle applies to other situations where the insurer does not always succeed.  But I believe Adam needs to get good local advice pronto.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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17 Dec 2015 14:37 by windtalker Star rating. 1730 posts Send private message

It makes no difference if it is a hire car or  not  your insurance is only legal if you are driving within the law as your where in no fit  state to drive {pissed} you will have to suffer the consequences if you look at in another way it's only a bit of Bent metal that can be fixed  if you had killed someone you would have ended up doing jail time.

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17 Dec 2015 18:41 by nitram Star rating in castalla. 172 posts Send private message

Sorry did i miss something, what was the out come of 2 failed drink tests ¿

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17 Dec 2015 19:33 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

A report in the local press here recently, I can't remember when, reported about an ex-pat  was driving without insurance and drunk. He not only killed himself but also the other driver and passenger. The outcome was that the widow of the drunk had her house taken away from her to be sold to go towards the compensation. So this poor woman not only lost her husband but also her home so that she and her kids were were homeless in a foreign country.

Adco1 you are 'lucky' that you only damaged a bit of metal and the cost is less than €10,000. Please let this be a lesson to everyone about drinking and driving.


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18 Dec 2015 09:33 by baz1946 Star rating. 2216 posts Send private message

Never did understand the concept of a drunk thinking they are safe to drive a weapon when they cant even walk straight.

As it's been said...You have got of light, you didn't kill anyone...This time!

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18 Dec 2015 10:13 by steone Star rating in Santiago de la Riber.... 386 posts Send private message

To reply to acer generally what happens re. the repair of the hire car their insurance will pay for it and other insured losses. However the insurance company will most certainly chase the driver for the amount they laid out. Also the hire company will chase the driver for the excess plus all additional losses they suffered i.e. loss of use etc. Any damage to street furniture or garden walls etc will have to be paid for by the driver.

I know it is not a good scenario for Adam but financially but who poured the alcohol down your throat and then got behind the wheel of the car?


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18 Dec 2015 10:41 by adco1 Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Ok thanks again guys, I know i shouldnt of been driving, i had a couple of pints in the daytime at a restaurant on the beach and was over the very low Spanish drink drive limit, however i came on the forum for the possibility of some helpful advice, of which ive had a small amount at first for which i'am very gratful!

I am a 47 year old man and don't need telling off thanks. So again thankyou for the positive comments at beginning of this thread.





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18 Dec 2015 12:09 by baz1946 Star rating. 2216 posts Send private message

So here is the answer then, because the Spanish have a very low limit on drink driving it could be seen it's the Spanish laws fault, can't imagine what it would be like with a high limit, this is in many cases a Brit problem, they go to a cheap booze country and think they can do what they want, like they do back home.

If you hadn't had the accident that didn't cause a fatality chances are you would have got home okay,  got away with it that day, had more drinks possibly later on that day, and on another day, and still drove again.

Is it okay to drive, or more to the point be over the limit in the UK on two pints? Thought the law prefered it to be "Don't drink and drive"....Period.

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18 Dec 2015 12:34 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Come on guys, Adco has accepted he was in the wrong. Can’t we just leave it there?   I for one whilst criticising him know that I am not perfect.  I wonder how many here but for the grace of god ......

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