The True Cost of DUI in the Healthcare System

Disclaimer: The information presented below is only meant to provide information on the true cost of driving under the influence of alcohol – or more commonly known as DUI – in the healthcare system at large. You shouldn’t misinterpret it as legal advice. You might also want to contact a licensed attorney if you have any further questions about the costs that a DUI offense can impose on the healthcare system.

When you brought your vehicle along with you to attend some special occasion, and you’ve had one too many drinks, a concerned fellow attendee may have approached you and asked if you can still drive yourself all the way back to your place. You might then have replied to them that yes, you can still get behind the wheel even if you’re feeling a bit tipsy. Unfortunately, that lousy excuse wouldn’t work once a police officer asks you to pull over on the side of the road and test you for alcohol. You may even get charged with DUI whose true cost extends not only within any fines that you have to pay but also across the entire healthcare system.


You May Be Costing the Whole Healthcare System Too Much Money with Your DUI Charge

Even if you drank some cheap alcohol that doesn’t cost too much from your local liquor store, it might still turn out to be the most expensive drink that you’ll ever have in your lifetime if you decide to drive while under its influence. Drunk driving and subsequently getting charged with DUI doesn’t only burn a deep hole in your pocket as it can also make you realize it’s true cost in the healthcare system, a few of which are as follows:

  1. The money that’s used to fund the emergency medical services team who are required to respond once you get involved in a vehicular accident while under the influence of alcohol comes from taxpayers, many who aren’t even alcohol drinkers at all.

When you’re driving under the influence of alcohol, your judgment becomes blunted which can then result in a vehicular accident or incurring personal injuries that can put you and any passengers you may have brought along with you in harm’s way.

  • Anyone who’s near the site of the vehicular accident that you caused would then have to call 911 for emergency medical services – or EMS – team to get to there as soon as possible.
  • Thus, before attempting to drink and drive, you would want to place yourself first in the shoes of a taxpayer who doesn’t even drink at all and yet has to pay for an EMS team who would have to respond to the vehicular accident caused by your recklessness.
  1. Both direct and indirect taxes taken from taxpayers fund the public health insurance that you’ll be using after getting injured from your drunk driving accident and being admitted to a public hospital.

The EMS team who responded to the site of your drunk driving accident would then have to transport you via ambulance to the nearest public hospital.

  • Public health insurance automatically covers all medical expenses that you’ve incurred during your entire stay in the public hospital that had let you in after being brought there by emergency medical services.
  • But in case you want to transfer to a private hospital as you believe you can better recover there, you would have to use your private health insurance instead.
  1. The alcohol exclusion laws of the state where your drunk driving accident had occurred can cause your insurance company to ban you from filing a personal injury claim.

You can thank your lucky stars if your health insurance provider has agreed to shoulder your medical costs after getting yourself moved out of the public hospital where you first were brought and admitted into a private one. However, if your health insurance provider has to comply with the alcohol exclusion laws of the state where you committed a DUI offense, they wouldn’t be able to answer all your recovery and rehabilitation expenses.

  • Some states implement alcohol exclusion laws that let private health insurance providers deny any alcohol-related claims for those who got themselves involved in a drunk driving accident might submit.
  • Since you don’t have any form of insurance that would shoulder all your medical expenses, you would have to hope that the remaining balance of your personal savings account is enough to pay them. Otherwise, you’ll only end up in further financial trouble all because you drove under the influence of alcohol.

For most people, drinking alcohol doesn’t cause any harm as long as they do it in moderation. But you might have drank more than what you can handle, especially if the alcohol itself tasted good. Your night can then turn into a painfully bad one if you insisted on driving yourself back home most likely out of fear that your vehicle might get stolen if you leave it near the venue of the gathering that you attended and ride a cab instead. Operating your vehicle while intoxicated can get you charged with DUI, the true cost of which bears a heavy financial toll on the healthcare system that’s obligated to nurse drunk drivers like you back to normal.


About the Author: Vicki Haskett

Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.