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Facts about drunk driving




Alcohol is a factor in 35% of the United States crash costs. Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public more than $110,000 billion in 1998, including more than $40 billion in monetary costs and almost $70 billion in quality of life losses. Alcohol-related crashes are deadlier and more serious than other crashes. People other than the drinking driver paid $51 billion of the alcohol-related crash bill. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

Crashes in 1993 involving drivers at BACs between .08% and .099% cost society $4.6 billion, including $130 million in medical spending. Every vehicle mile traveled at this BAC costs $2.50, including $.80 to people other than the drunk driver. (Miller et al, 1996b)

Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public more than $110 billion in 1998, including more than $40 billion in monetary costs and almost $70 billion in quality of life losses. (Miller et al, 1999)

A drunk driving crash costs innocent victims $26,000. Comparable crime costs per victim: assault-$19,000; robbery-$13,000; motor vehicle theft-$4,000. Yet, the drunk driving crash is the only one of these crimes that is often not a felony for the first offense. (Miller et al, 1996a, 1996b)

Driving at BAC levels between .08% and .099% poses an excess risk far higher than the mobility ($.30 per mile). Not driving would cost eight times less than driving in this BAC range. (Miller et al, 1996b)

Alcohol-related crashes accounted for an estimated 16% of the $127 billion in U.S. auto insurance payments. Reducing alcohol-related crashes by 10% would save $3 billion in claims payments and loss adjustment expenses. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

Medical costs for 1993 traffic crash injuries were approximately $22 billion and the alcohol-related portion is estimated to have been $7 billion. (Miller et al, 1996b)

Over 25 percent of the first year medical costs for persons hospitalized as a result of a crash are paid by tax dollars, about two-thirds through Medicaid and one third through Medicare. (NHTSA, February 1993)

Crash costs in the United States averaged $5.80 per mile driven at BACs of .10 and above $2.50 per mile driven at BACs between .08-.09 and $0.10 per mile driven at BACs of .00 in 1998. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

The cost for each injured survivor of an alcohol-related crash averages $67,000, including $6,000 in health care costs and $13,000 in lost productivity. (Miller et al, 1996b)

Crashes involving BAC positive drivers under 21 cost society $21 billion, including $1.2 billion in medical spending. 18% of their crash costs result from alcohol-involved crashes. (Miller et al, 1996b)

The societal costs of alcohol-related crashes averaged $0 .80 per drink consumed. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.40 per drink. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

Crash costs average $5.80 per mile driven drunk. By comparison, driving a mile sober imposes only $.10 in crash costs. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

The consequences of excessive drinking extend beyond crashes. Overall, excessive drinking costs people, other than the drinkers, $135 billion annually. Of this alcohol-attributable amount, $51 billion is due to crashes; $60 billion is due to other violence and the remainder to chronic illness and other alcohol-abuse problems. (Miller et al, 1996a, 1996b)

The societal costs of alcohol-related crashes in the United States averaged $0.80 per drink consumed in 1998. People other than the drinking driver paid $0.40 per drink.. (Miller et al, PIRE, 1999)

Alcohol-related fatal injuries accounted for 45 percent of all fatal injury costs: 26 percent of the nonfatal injury costs were alcohol-related. (Miller et al, 1996b)

The total cost attributable to the consequences of underage drinking was more than $58 billion per year in 1998 dollars. (Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 1999)