As the coronavirus prevents us from exploring the outside world, it’s also changed how we behave inside our homes, shaking up our ordinary routines—for better or worse. Wearing pajamas around the clock is relatively harmless, but some of the changes negatively impact our health.

Throughout the country, many Americans have interpreted stay-at-home orders as permission to drink alone during the day. According to, 1 in 3 Americans say they are likely to drink more alcohol in isolation. This trend hits close to home; the same study showed that 33% of Tennesseans are drinking at home during the workday.

Here are some recent numbers from Nielsen that help paint a picture of this dangerous trend. During the third week of March, roughly the time that quarantining and social distancing began…

  • All types of alcohol sales were up
  • Online alcohol sales increased by 243%
  • Sales of ready-to-drink cocktails increased by 106%
  • Liquor and spirits sales increased by 75%

These numbers could lead to more impaired driving.

One thing this pandemic has made clear is that it’s hard to predict—and control—other people’s behavior. In some states, it appears social distancing has lowered DUIs, as impaired drivers can no longer hit the road after drinking. But DUIs are on the rise in other areas, including a section of Florida’s Treasure Coast and a county in Western Michigan where these arrests have practically become a daily occurrence. Whether people are drinking alone or congregating at friends’ despite social distancing orders, they no longer have a designated driver to rely on.

Drunk driving is particularly risky during a pandemic.

No one should ever get behind the wheel after drinking, but a DUI now can jeopardize the health of those around you, contributing to the spread of coronavirus in your community. If you are carrying the virus and get arrested for a DUI, you put the officers on patrol, and everyone you encounter during the booking process, at risk of exposure. And remember, it is possible to carry the virus while asymptomatic.

Additionally, while not all DUIs result in hospital visits, these incidents can lead to serious injuries. We need every available hospital bed during this urgent moment. Every DUI-related hospital visit is less attention that already overburdened medical professionals can offer COVID patients.

Alcohol can increase your risk of catching coronavirus.

Even if you’re not driving, it’s a good idea to avoid excessively consuming alcohol. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization said that drinking alcohol can not only increase your risk of catching COVID-19, it can also worsen symptoms. Beyond physical health, alcohol can harm our mental and emotional well-being, something that matters more than ever in this time of isolation.

Talk to a Memphis car accident lawyer

This pandemic is not an excuse to make irresponsible decisions, at home or behind the wheel. We owe it to those in our community to keep each other safe.

If you have been the victim of another driver’s recklessness, we’re here to help you. Call (901) 327-2100 to speak with a trusted Memphis car accident lawyer today.