Consequences of Drinking and Driving During the Pandemic

drinking and driving drunk driving pandemic consequences

Consequences of Drinking and Driving During the Pandemic

Table of Contents

I. Drinking and Driving Statistics

Recent statistics indicate that attitude towards drunk driving has changed significantly over the years, thanks to countless campaigns and organizational movements. Unfortunately, many are still unaware of the consequences of their first DUI or the ramifications of driving under the influence. 

Undoubtedly, more work needs to be done as there are still many alarming drunk driving statistics to date. Below are some of the distressing drunk driving statistics in a typical year:

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drinking and driving kills about one person every 52 minutes
  • Alcohol-related car accidents cost a staggering $44 billion yearly
  • A staggering 67% of people are likely to get involved in an alcohol-related crash
  • At least a third of fatal crashes involve drunk drivers

II. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Drunk Driving

This might not be common knowledge, but the COVID-19 pandemic has a dramatic impact on the DUI statistics. To put things in perspective, let us examine some of the drunk driving statistics before and during the pandemic.

Let’s take the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) statistics as an example. Between 2015 and 2017, around 377 deaths were reported, and 1,171 injuries are attributed to alcohol-related crashes. At the end of March 2019, 293 people were arrested by the Missouri police for drunk driving.

Last 2020, around the same weekend, police arrested only 94 people for drunk driving. Missouri is on track to reducing the numbers by a staggering seventy percent if the figures remain consistent.

The great thing is the same trend is observed across other states. For instance, in Nebraska, only four people were arrested for driving under the influence on St. Patrick’s Day. For Nebraska, that’s a 15-year low.

On the other hand, Dorchester and Berkeley Country didn’t make any arrests last March of 2020. Only 13 individuals were detained for DUI charges in Charleston County last March. DUI arrests in New Mexico were also down by as much as fifty percent.

The dramatic drops in DUI cases can be attributed to the “stay at home” orders implemented in many states. Hawaii and other tourism-dense states attribute the decline in DUI arrests to fewer people driving.

What’s interesting, though, is that alcohol sales went up. A study done by Nielsen indicated that alcohol sales spiked by as high as fifty-five percent. So far, it has not shown any signs of slowing down. This suggests that while Americans are drinking more, they are doing it at home.

III. Consequences of Drinking and Driving During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When arrested for DUI during the pandemic, below are some of the things you can expect:

1. Financial Responsibilities

Not many people may be aware of it, getting DUI can be expensive. Before being formally convicted, it is possible that you will be spending thousands on the following:

    • Getting your car back
    • Towing charges
    • Bond
    • Downpayment for lawyer services


2. License Revocation

This is a no-brainer. A DUI conviction can often lead to the revocation of your driver’s license. If you are a first-time offender, the cancellation can last for two years. If your job requires you to drive, this can result in job loss in some instances.

For a lot of people, losing their driving privilege can be stressful. Without a license, you won’t be able to enjoy family visits, run errands, or participate in most social activities. Your job performance can also suffer if you don’t have a car and you always get tardy.

3. Employment

In most cases, a DUI arrest and conviction will have a significant impact on your employment. Community service hours, court dates, and jail time can put havoc on your work schedule. And that’s just for starters.

If you are looking for employment, a DUI record can be a liability. Undoubtedly, some employers are hesitant about hiring individuals with DUI convictions. In addition, jobs that require driving like sales, pizza delivery, and truck driving may be closed to your completely.

4. Background Checks

Often, employers will conduct background checks before hiring applicants. When you have a DUI conviction, it can hinder you from getting the job you want. Background checks are also carried out when applying for housing or college financial aid.

Most landlords will also conduct background checks. If you have a DUI conviction, it might ruin your chances of getting the place you want.

IV. Conclusion

It does not matter if you got your DUI conviction before or during the pandemic. When it comes to DUI convictions, one thing is certain: you will suffer the consequences for many years to come. That said, if you don’t want to jeopardize your future, make it a policy to not drink and drive.

It’s important to note that every case is unique, as is every potential outcome. Your best shot at getting the best possible outcome for your particular case is to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate the difficult legal process. If you’re in Arizona and are in need of a top DUI attorney, please call the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan to schedule your free consultation today: 480-900-0384. You can also visit for more information.

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