The True Cost of DUI in the Healthcare System

The True Cost of DUI in the Healthcare System

Just one sip of alcohol has a big effect on your mind and body. A glass or two every once in a while shouldn’t bother you, but regularly drowning yourself in alcohol is a big problem.

Drinking can affect your family and friends, too, especially if you drive while under the influence of alcohol. You may be putting other people in danger. You could crash into their property, injure them, or even kill them.

Aside from these, whether you admit it or not, drinking and driving creates problems for the government and the private sector as well. Let’s talk about the true cost of driving under the influence, often called DUI, in the healthcare system.

Average Costs

The average claim for bodily injury from car accidents is $15,443. And this is just from medical bills, fines and fees. If you are caught, could rise from $13,000 to $27,000.

The total amount that needs to be paid for when you get in a car accident because of a DUI comes from these services and fees:

EMS Transportation

Every mile for an emergency service and transportation is charged about $6.55. This amount is measured from the scene of the accident to the hospital that will receive you.

  • BLS Transport

Basic life support costs about $428. This includes basic treatment, such as oxygen and monitoring of your vital signs.

  • ALS Transport

Advanced life support can cost around $508.

  • ALS-2 Transport

Additional life support and services cost about $735. This includes the ALS treatment plus breathing tube insertion, multiple medications, and CPR.

Emergency Department Visits

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The average charge for emergency department visits is $383, while the average overall cost is $209. For non-urgent visits, that average charge is $124, and the average cost is $62. For a semi-urgent visit, the average charge is $312, and the average cost is $159. Finally, for an urgent visit, the average charge is $621, and the average price is $351.

Diagnostic Tests

If you’re involved in a car accident, the physical health of everyone involved should be checked. You and others involved will have to go through some of these diagnostic tests:

  • Echocardiography

The standard cost of echocardiography ranges from $1,000 to $2,000. A transesophageal echocardiogram, called a TEE, can cost more than $2,000.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)

A complete blood count may cost between $50 to $300. However, in some cases, the cost can be up to $1,000.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

A magnetic resonance imaging test may cost you from $400 up to $3,500.

  • Computer Axial Tomography Scan (CAT Scan)

You may need to pay between $270 and $4,800 for a computer axial tomography scan procedure.

  • X-Ray

The average amount that you will pay for an x-ray can range from $100 up to $26,161.


Medications for an injury from an accident can cost up to $50,000. This includes medication from all medical and rehabilitation needed for damage sustained in the accident. You would pay for the specialists, follow-up visits, chiropractic sessions, and more when required.


If you drive drunk, you’re not in total control of yourself or your decisions, and chances are high that you will be involved in an accident. And when you get involved in a crash while under the influence, you and your victim are admitted to a hospital, even if there’s no immediate injury obvious. Because of this, public health insurance and your private health insurance is often involved and affected.

Public Health Insurance

If you are in an accident and the police respond, they’ll most probably call the nearest public hospital. And if you are admitted to a public hospital, your hospital bills are mostly shouldered by your public health insurance.

Private Health Insurance

If you are admitted and you have private or work-sponsored health insurance, your private health insurance provider will shoulder your medical expenses minus your deductibles and other related charges and fees.

However, there’s a possibility your insurance provider will deny you this privilege. You may think that it’s unfair, but if you were involved in an accident while under the influence of alcohol, the law allows it. This means that you may end up paying for your medical bills out of your own pocket.

Your DUI’s Effect On The Public

If you get involved in a car crash because you were drinking, you’re not only affecting yourself, your friends and family, but also the public. The money used for you, your victims, and to repair and restore any properties you’ve damaged, could have been used for something else, such as to pay for a scholarship, build new infrastructures, or help the sick and the needy. And the people who have responded to your accident could have responded to another emergency, saved lives, put out fires, and more.

You may have survived and arrived home safely the last time you drove yourself while under the influence of alcohol, but what about the next time? You should never put yourself behind the wheel if you’re drunk.

If you want to go home after drinking, ride a cab or Uber, or have someone drive you home. And if you are caught driving under the influence, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. He/she will be able to guide you through the process and will help you deal with it.


Jean Clark is a professional writer and loves anything to do with law in business or in the public. She is family oriented, and she loves spending her free time with her family.

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