Report: Excessive alcohol consumption costs Wisconsin $6.8 billion a year
MILWAUKEE -- Health First Wisconsin released a report that says Wisconsin's excessive alcohol use costs the state $6.8 billion a year. The report points out that the state's Department of Public Instruction budget is $6.2 billion.
Health First Wisconsin Executive Director Maureen Busalacchi says, "The results of the report are staggering. Excessive alcohol use costs us $6.8 billion, and results in 1,500 deaths a year. Over-consumption of alcohol is a serious problem in Wisconsin that demands serious action."
The report says, excessive and dangerous drinking behaviors cost Wisconsin $2.9 billion in lost productivity, $1.9 billion due to premature deaths, $749 million in health care costs, $649 goes to the criminal justice system, and $418 in motor vehicle crashes.
The report makes a few suggestions for law changes to help improve Wisconsin's drinking culture. Health First Wisconsin wants stronger athletic codes that will prevent underage drinking and alcohol density policies. They also say social host ordinances are several local-level policies have proven to be effective in reducing alcohol abuse.
Health First Wisconsin also wants Wisconsin to allow sobriety checkpoints.
The Tavern League of Wisconsin has been contacted for a response to this report. We have yet to receive a statement.