At a time when Budweiser was in the news for being purchased by Belgian brewer InBev, an interesting study about alcohol also came out.
The Annual Catastrophe of Alcohol in California
A new study funded by the the alcohol industry watchdog, Marin Institute, outlines the cost of alcohol use to the state of California to be $38.4 billion annually, or $1,200 per second. That’s a cost to every resident of roughly $1,000 annually. The costs come in the form of crime, traffic DUI costs, illness, and injury.
The study also estimates there is an additional $48.8 billion in quality of life costs, due to the pain and suffering of victims and families. Marin Institute compared the economic losses to those from natural disasters and concluded that alcohol costs far outpace earthquakes and fires. Per the Marin Institute: “Unlike earthquakes, fires, floods and mudslides, which come along infrequently, the catastrophe of alcohol in California happens annually, with devastating effects, and can be prevented.”
The Marin Institute’s study called for a number of steps to reverse the catastrophe, including higher alcohol taxes to reduce excessive consumption and the related harm and costs.