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Effects of Drinking and Driving

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Drinking and Driving

Did you know that in 2009, 10,839 people were killed by drinking and driving accidents? (Drunk Driving Statistics par. 7) Drinking and driving is something that people take too lightly. People do not ever think that they will cause a wreck or even worse kill someone because they decided to drink and then later drive. The failure to realize the potential effects of consuming alcohol and driving results in serious economic, social, and mental costs on our society.

For an individual who chooses to drink and drive, the financial effects can be astronomical. According to, the initial costs of a DUI ticket are in excess of $10,000 by the time you pay bail, fines, fees and insurance, even if you do not hit anything or anyone("DUI: The $10,000 Ride Home" par. 1). Further economic hardship is possible as many employers immediately terminate individuals with such convictions or refuse to hire someone with a DUI on their record.

Although people over the age of 21 have the legal right to consume alcohol, their failure to recognize their limits often has tragic and costly results on our society. These decisions and the resulting traffic accidents cost Americans $114 billion dollars in 2009 ("DUI: Economic Effects of Drinking and Driving" par. 3) in the form of property damage, increased insurance premiums, medical bills, and quality of life losses. Sadly, based on an average funeral cost of $15,000, families spent in excess of $1.63 million to bury their loved ones as a result of drinking and driving accidents in 2009. All of these costs could have been prevented if only people did not choose to drink and drive.

In addition to the economic and social costs, which place an emphasis on monetary costs, perhaps the greatest cost is in the mental health of Americans. Everyone killed or injured by a drunk driver is someone else's loved one. Drinking and driving leaves children as orphans, and forces parents to bury children way before their time. Statistics show that 1 in 3 people will be involved in an alcohol related crash in their lifetime (Drunk Driving Statistics par. 16). The grief and guilt of such accidents affects the mental health of all citizens on some level and puts an unnecessary strain on our society as a whole.

In conclusion, drinking and driving is 100% percent preventable, if and only if, people are willing to not get behind the wheel after drinking. In 2009, Americans self-reported over 147 million episodes of drunken driving ("DUI: Economic Effects of Drinking and Driving" par. 12). While we enjoy the right to consume alcoholic beverages; we should not do so without accepting the responsibility that goes along with such freedom. It is not worth risking your life or anyone else's (family, friend, or stranger) by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. The economic, social and mental costs



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