Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol Impacts the Economy

drunk-drivingDriving under the influence of alcohol has a serious impact on society. Every year, thousands of lives are lost because people get behind the wheel with alcohol in their system. Preventing drunk driving, not only saves lives, it also has a positive impact on the economy, Reuters reports.

A new study has found that the reduction in drunk driving over the past few decades contributed to 5 percent of the $200 million compounded average annual growth in the gross domestic product from 1985 to 2013. Since 1984-86, alcohol related car crash reductions created 215,000 jobs and:

  • Increased economic output in 2010 by an estimated $20 billion.
  • Increased the U.S. gross domestic product by $10 billion.
  • Increased U.S. income by $6.5 billion.

In the United States, the study showed that alcohol played a part in about 12 percent of car crashes in 2010, according to the article. In 1984 to 1986, the number of people involved in car crashes due to alcohol was around double what it was in 2010.

“Alcohol-involved crashes drag down the U.S. economy,” the researchers wrote. “On average, each of the 25.5 billion miles Americans drove impaired in 2010 reduced economic output by $0.80. Those losses are preventable.”

The country will continue to see economic gains as alcohol-related car crashes continue to become less common, said Ted Miller, a study author from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Silver Spring, Maryland.

“We know where to move to get more reductions,” said Miller. “We need to hold the course and keep expanding it.”

The findings were published in the journal Injury Prevention.

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