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Atlanta DUI Accident Attorneys Discuss the Costs of Drinking and Driving

August 12, 2015

Drinking and driving inflicts in an immense societal cost, killing thousands of individuals each year and injuring many more. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports that in the year 2000, for every 140 miles driven, a person with a blood alcohol concentration of over .08 was behind the wheel. It is estimated that over two million accidents across the United States involved the use of alcohol and these crashes tragically kill over 16,000 annually and injure another 500,000.

Alcohol is thought to be a factor in close to 30 percent of all accidents. In fact, alcohol related crashes costs the United States about $114 billion, including $51 billion in monetary expenses and $63 billion in quality of life losses. People other than the drunk driver responsible for the crash paid $71.6 billion of the total economic losses.

Monetary expenses can include medical bills, time off work, prescription drug costs and the like. Quality of life losses may include all loss of productivity, loss of support, loss of enjoyment and other intangible damages.

Costs per Alcohol Related Death and Injury

The average alcohol related death costs $3.5 million, with about a million in monetary costs and $2.5 million in quality of life losses. Those injured in alcohol related crashes are estimated to result in $99,000 in damages on average, with $49,000 in monetary costs and $50,000 in quality of life loss.

When quantified in another way, the societal costs of alcohol related accidents across the country equate to approximately $1.00 for each drink consumed, and people other than the drunk driver bear the majority of the expense.

Impact on Automobile Insurance Rates

Another cost associated with drinking and driving is increased insurance rates for drivers across the nation. Alcohol related accidents account for about 18 percent of the $102 billion paid out in insurance claims. Reducing the rate of alcohol related accidents would greatly decease insurance premiums.

Preventing Drinking and Driving

As is evident, the tremendous societal costs and loss of life associated with drinking and driving require more action to prevent this reckless behavior. Some prevention methods employed by the states for years have included administrative license revocation, harsh criminal penalties including fines and jail time, sobriety check points, ignition interlock and more. While these methods have reduced drinking and driving, some individuals unfortunately continue to engage in this behavior. Increased public awareness, zero tolerance programs and harsher penalties for first time offenders could all work to reduce drunk driving rates.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Put Our Over 38 Years of Experience to Work on Your Case!

Driving while intoxicated is a dangerous behavior that can cost you and your family thousands as well as end the lives of innocent road users. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, the Atlanta Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, want to help. We offer zealous representation to automobile accident victims and their families across Georgia and in the Southeast. Prompt action is vital to the success of your automobile accident case. As such, do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as your time to file a claim after the accident is limited. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.