DUI Cost to California Businesses

Drinking and Driving Costs California Businesses More Than $2.5 Billion

Contact: Dawn Brogan (916) 444-8014
E-mail: [email protected]


(SACRAMENTO–September 6, 1995) — Drinking and driving will cost
California businesses more than $2.5 billion this year, according to a
study released today by the California Coalition Against Driving Under
the Influence (CaDUI).

The study — conducted by a business school professor at California
State University, Sacramento — looked at a wide range of bottom line
impacts associated with injuries, deaths and property damage caused by
driving under the influence (DUI).

“DUI inflicts tragedy on society and extracts a tremendous cost from
the state’s employers and economy,” said Lisa Dunn, corporate relations
manager with Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America and CaDUI chair. CaDUI is
a coalition of public and private sector groups allied in the fight
against DUI.

More than 50,000 Californians were killed or injured last year in
alcohol-related collisions. Most of these were employed.

“To put this in perspective,” said Dunn, “The $2.5 billion loss is
equal to $3,337 for every business in California, or $180 for every
employee in the state. This is an unnecessary, preventable cost to
businesses that hurts their bottom line profitability and

The study included costs for health and life insurance, lost
productivity, higher recruitment and retraining expenses, workers
compensation, sick leave, motor vehicle insurance, and other legal and
liability costs.

While public attention has understandably focused on the tragic social
consequences of DUI injuries and deaths, according to CaDUI, the economic
impact on employers has been largely ignored. Unless an organization has
a large driving fleet, DUI is often seen as an “off the job” problem and
not part of the employer’s business, even though employers pick up the
high tab in health care costs, lost productivity, higher insurance, and
other costs.

Since this is such an enormous problem for not only employers, but
employees as well, the CaDUI is supportive of today’s statewide launch of
the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). NETS, a
public-private partnership dedicated to reducing traffic deaths and
injuries within our nation’s workforce, is being offered as a partial
solution to reducing the high cost of DUIs to businesses. NETS California
will provide employers with tools for promoting traffic safety messages
at the work site.

“Blue Cross of California has always been dedicated to the philosophy
that education and prevention go a long way toward saving money and
averting tragedy,” said Leonard D. Schaeffer, Chairman and CEO, Blue
Cross of California, and NETS California member.

CaDUI urges employers to adopt strict anti-drinking and driving
policies, and to educate employees and dependents about the dangers of

The CaDUI is a coalition that provides leadership, coordination and
support to California’s war against drinking and driving, and is
comprised of government, private sector and citizen’s advocacy groups.
This economic study was paid for by a grant from the California Office of
Traffic Safety.

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