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Hikes in alcohol taxes result in fewer alcohol-related accidents

An average of 500,000 injuries and 10,000 deaths occur every year because of alcohol-related car accidents. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, which used NHTSA data from 2001 to 2011, an increase in state alcohol taxes could prevent thousands of such accidents in California and across the United States.

In 2009, Illinois raised its taxes on wine, beer and spirits, and fatal alcohol-related auto accidents subsequently went down by 26 percent. The tax hike also resulted in a 37 percent reduction in these accidents among young individuals. After reviewing multiple factors that could have also resulted in fewer fatalities, the researchers determined that the tax change contributed to the decrease.

Over the years, alcohol has become substantially cheaper, and this is due in part to reductions in taxes. In 2011, it cost the average person 3 percent of their disposable income to consume 10 drinks a day. In 1950, such behavior cost the average individual half of their disposable income.

According to one researcher, the results of the study do not correspond with the views of the many economists who believe that heavy drinkers are generally less affected by tax changes. By applying this research data, the researcher noted, communities across the United States could become much safer.

Motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol are widespread and often result in much trauma for the persons involved. Damages resulting from accidents can range from medical and funeral expenses to lost wages. If an injured individual wants to seek out reimbursement, a lawyer may be able to help them pursue a claim in court. After the case has been assembled, the parties involved might settle the dispute, or the case may be taken to before a judge.

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