The Impact of DUI on Society

the impact of dui on society

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and fact-checked by an addiction expert.

Table of Contents

DUI has a devastating impact on society at large. But just how much does it affect people? In this resource, we explore.

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How does Driving Under the Influence Affect Others?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have a devastating effect on society. It can lead to serious injuries, fatalities, and long-term financial costs due to medical care, lost wages, and legal fees. It can also cause property damage, long-term emotional trauma, and the destruction of families. In addition, it increases the risk of car accidents and can damage a driver’s reputation, making it difficult for them to find employment or housing. Furthermore, it can lead to an increase in insurance premiums for all drivers.

How many people die yearly from drunk driving accidents in the United States?

Approximately 32 people1 in the United States lose their lives due to drunkdriving-related crashes daily — a tragedy that could have been avoided. In 2020, this number reached an appalling 11,654, a 14% surge compared to 2019. It is clear that these deaths were preventable and should not have occurred. Alcoholimpaireddriving is a serious issue when drivers have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/dL or higher. Research shows that 12.3% of drivers involved in fatal crashes had either too much alcohol or drugs present in their systems to operate a vehicle legally. This means that nearly 5,500 drivers, on average, drove under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication when a fatal crash occurred each year.

Why do people feel as if they can drink and drive?

People may feel they can drink and drive because they are unaware of the risks involved. They may not understand the true magnitude of the dangers posed by driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, or they may think they can control their behavior even when impaired.

Additionally, some people may think they can drive safely if they only have a few drinks, but in reality, even a small amount of alcohol can impair their driving skills.

The impact of DUI on families of DUI victims

The death of a loved one due to drinking and driving can have a devastating impact on families. Not only are they faced with the emotional pain of losing someone close to them, but they may also be financially affected by medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs.

In addition, family members who survive may experience guilt and depression as they grapple with the knowledge that their loved one is gone due to another person’s negligence or recklessness. Furthermore, these families may struggle to find closure as they try to cope with the loss.

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How to Prevent Drinking and Driving

To prevent drinking and driving, it is important to plan. If you are going to be drinking alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver or take public transportation.

Additionally, if you know someone who has been drinking, do not let them drive; instead, offer them a safe ride home.

Finally, if you see someone who appears to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call the police immediately.


[1] Drunk Driving

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Dane Perikly

DUI Education and Recovery Writer

Dane is the Director of Virtual services at Cornerstone. He also contributes factual guides on DUI education so that you can understand all there is to know about DUI laws, DUI education, getting through the process of dealing with a DUI, and getting back on the road.
lionel estrada lisac clinical director

Clinical Reviewer, Clinical Director

Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone. Passionate about helping those with addiction, he has trained as an EMDR therapist  adopting a trauma-informed approach to treat the underlying issues of addiction, providing an empathetic approach to addiction.

Articles written prior to August 2023 were also clinically reviewed by Karen Williams, LPC 

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