Aside from the MANY bad things that can happen to you if you drive drunk (you can die, you can kill others, you can go to jail, you can lose your license, you can be heavily fined, etc.) most people don’t know that you may also forfeit your No-Fault insurance benefits for medical bills and lost wages. The general rule is that the drunk driver forfeits his no-fault coverage.

There is an exception to this general rule of “no coverage” IF the drunk driver can prove that his/her intoxication was not a contributing cause of the accident. But good luck in proving that the fact that your intoxication was not a contributing cause of the accident!


The applicable law is:
11 NYCRR 65.15. Claims for personal injury protection benefits — accidents on and after December 1, 1977.
(m) Scope of coverage. (2) An Insurer shall pay benefits to an applicant for losses arising out of an accident in the following situations: (i) where coverage has been excluded for an applicant operating a vehicle while in an intoxicated condition or while the applicant’s ability is impaired by the use of a drug, if such intoxicated or drugged condition was not a contributing cause of the accident causing the injuries; (emphasis added)