The Economics of DUI’s By- Aykman Fernandez

   There are potential consequences for drug and alcohol use in our personal lives, but not everyone may grasp that there are significant economic consequences for drug and alcohol use as well. Perhaps there is no action quite as costly as binge drinking, or the act of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that binge drinking caused 191 billion dollars of damages in 2010. 58 billion dollars of damage also occurred in 2010 related to alcohol. The areas that were affected by alcohol in 2010 included workplace productivity, health care, and criminal justice. In total, 249 billion dollars of damage was done (CDC). In 2010 drunken driving related accidents cost America 44 billion dollars. Unfortunately, 10,874 lives paid the price due to alcohol related accidents in 2017 (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, n.d.). According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE); whenever someone is convicted of a DUI, their insurance rates are raised, and are indirectly passed onto the other consumers. PIRE also explained that medical and property costs, like ambulance drivers, who are deployed to help victims at a crash, and guardrails, which can be damaged in an accident; are funded by the tax payers of America (LifeSafer, 2012). Being convicted for a DUI can affect your work life as well. Employers could run a background check, and being convicted of a DUI can prevent people from getting certain jobs (Shala, 2018).

   There are a fair amount of economic consequences for narcotic use, but there is an abundance of consequences for use in our personal lives. For first time DUI offenders, you can be jailed for over 10 days, and will be fined at least $1,250. You will have your license suspended and will have to be screened by a licensed substance abuse counselor. You will also have to equip your vehicle with an ignition interlock device. Lastly, you will have to perform some sort of community service (ADOT, n.d.). Each time you are convicted of a DUI, penalties increase. These penalties can put a serious damper on your life. You will have to be screened, and then pass a 16 to 32 hour course recommended by the counselor. You will have to perform community service and purchase an interlock device. These all cost time and money. No matter what, there will be a price to pay.


Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT)

Driving under the influence

Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2018

Binge Drinking

LifeSafer (2012)

The real cost of drunk driving

Munroe, Shala (Chron) 2018

Can a DUI prevent you from getting a job?

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Drunk Driving


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