Drinking & Driving Increases Auto Insurance Costs

Sunday’s Post 10/23/11 –  Drinking alone may not seem that heavy in one’s pocket, especially if it is done during special occasions or even in unplanned gatherings. Yet accumulating medical expenditures as well as other costs to society, each drink may cost about $2, says a recent federal research released some months ago. Beyond the money spent by consumers at a bar or liquor store and the tips they might give Mr. Waiter, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated societal costs from binge and heavy drinking of people. For more than a dozen years, this is the first federal approximation. The study included – among other things – money lost in decreased work productivity, property damage for car crashes and other like accidents, expenditures for other alcohol-associated medical problems such as liver cirrhosis, and also bucks spent jailing alcohol-indulged law offenders such as drunk.

CDC released an estimation of $224 billion as the sum of all excessive drinking cost in the society in the year 2006 wherein all necessary statistics were available. Breaking down the $2 cost per drink, $1.90 of which come from the drink alone, $0.80 of which was attributed to federal, state or local governments. The other proportion of the estimate came from drinkers, their families, private health insurers, employers, crime victims and others. Drinking spree is the major cause of too much expense in drinking sessions, with about four or five alcoholic beverages consumer on one occasion. “Binge drinking results in binge spending,” says CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

Officials at CDC emphasized that excessive drinking leads to no health benefits. Too much liquor consumption would lead to gastrointestinal problems which may worsen and may develop to other forms of illness. They also noted that the data is merely an underestimate of the real cost.


Michael E. Dortch
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