Consequences of Drunk Driving

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 19, 
| 4 Sources

Consequences of drunk driving - If you choose to drink and drive you're gambling with your freedom, career and your life (or that of someone else).

Alcohol is a huge factor in vehicular accidents, and accidents involving alcohol tend to lead to injuries and fatalities than accidents where alcohol isn’t a factor.

Before discussing drinking and driving, lets take 3 minutes to watch and, more importantly, listen to a drunk driving story illustrating what can happen when someone chooses to drink and drive and the tragic consequences that can result.

Jason Barber speaks with great courage about the consequences of drunk driving. He reminds us all that behind the dry statistics there are real people and real lives, real lives forever impacted by drunk driving....

If that drunk driving story is not enough to put you off ever drinking and driving, then I don't know what is. How about some more information illustrating drunk driving consequences...

  • Driving after consuming alcohol is deadly. In the United States, drunk driving kills one person every 39 minutes and injures a person every 2 minutes.
  • In one program for teenagers about the dangerous consequences of drunk drinking, one student is removed from class every 15 minutes, and considered as "living dead" during the whole day to emphasize how the statistic applies to the real world.
  • The yearly cost of alcohol-liked vehicular accidents add up to over $44 billion.

The number one factor that affects the consequences of drunk driving is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of driving.

The legal limit for drunk driving in most countries is a BAC level of 0.08

There is a direct correlation between BAC level and chances of being involved in a car accident.

  • At blood alcohol concentrations (BAC’s) very low at 0.02 percent, alcohol still impacts driver performance by minimizing reaction time and slowing the decision-making process.
  • A BAC of 0.04 can increase the likelihood of someone being involved in a car crash by 1.4 times. 
  • At a BAC level of 0.08, drivers are so drunk that they are nearly 11 times as likely to have a crash (involving no other vehicle other than their's) than drivers who have a BAC level of zero.
  • The average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is 0.16

consequences of drunk driving

The highest percentage of drunk drivers belong to the age group of 18-24.

One of the the most dangerous effects of drinking and driving is that it creates a "false sense of confidence" which is especially characteristic of this age group.

Drunk Driving Consequences
Legal Consequences Of DUI

Most countries use special courts destined to handle DUI cases only. These courts are called DWI courts, DUI courts, sobriety court - and have proven effective in reducing drunk driving.

The legal measures used for alcohol driving felonies are:

  • Jail time.
  • Suspension, revocation or restriction of drivers license.
  • Fines - A defendant can expect to pay a fine of a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars. 
  • Attending DUI classes or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
  • Community service.
  • Electronic Monitoring - Involves wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically monitors the whereabouts of the wearer.
  • Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices.
  • Vehicle Impounding.

Consequences of Drunk Driving
Personal Life Consequences Of DUI

Guilt: The most painful effect on the driver's is the weight of guilt he carries with him every day of his life for all the damage he caused to the other people involved in the accident. The daily confrontation with this guilt is very hard.

Insurance: Insurance fees will go up dramatically. Some insurance companies will cancel the current automobile coverage policy right after the conviction.

The insurance company may offer SR-22 insurance which is way more expensive than the usual one. Only after 3 years without any additional conviction may you take up 'normal' insurance again.


  • Living without driving license.
  • Loss of job.
  • Loss of income.
  • Attending drivers education classes.
  • Paying attorneys fees, towing fees.

Over the past 2 decades most countries have fully grasped the consequences of drunk driving and decided to take action by establishing DWI courts, using automatic license revocation, decreasing the legal BAC level, teaching about the danger of alcohol driving at schools, etc.

As a result of the above measures, alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped from 60% of all traffic deaths in 1982 down to 39% in 2005.

consequences of drunk driving

Stop Alcoholism Before It Turns Life-Threatening!

Alcohol abuse can lead to life-threatening risks, such as drunk driving. If you or loved one needs help overcoming alcoholism, please contact a treatment provider today

If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


NCBI. Prevention of Drinking and Driving. 1996.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Impaired Driving: Get the Facts. August 24, 2020.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Epidemiology and Consequences of Drinking and Driving. December 2003.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drunk Driving.

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