The Increase of Alcohol Consumption – And Thus DUI and Criminal Arrest Rates – During the Pandemic

It’s common to see an increase in alcohol abuse after disasters. This trend was seen after 9/11, the 2003 SARS outbreak and Hurricane Katrina, so it should come as no surprise that alcohol sales and consumption dramatically increased since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Before the Pandemic, most people drank socially at bars or restaurants. During the first week of the Pandemic, there was a 54% increase in national alcohol sales compared to the year before. During the Pandemic, most alcohol purchases were in-store. Alcohol was more accessible than ever because of online delivery and mobile apps. Online alcohol sales increased the first week of the pandemic by 262%. Additionally, studies show that women, in particular, are drinking excessively more often than men due to the additional pandemic stress. 

The increase in alcohol sales has led to an increase in alcohol-related crimes, from assault to OWI/DUI. Nationwide there has been a 4.6% increase in drunk driving crashes that involve alcohol and drugs, and Michigan has seen a similar increase. These drivers are also mixing alcohol with other illegal substances at a higher rate than they did before the pandemic hit. Michigan spent an average of 42 million dollars a month on marijuana during the pandemic (after it became legal in 2019). Consequently, there has been an almost 14% increase in crashes that involve both drugs and alcohol. There has also been an increase in domestic violence, with an 8% increase after the issuance of stay-at-home orders, much of it related to to at-home consumption. 

The Pandemic has affected every virtually aspect of our lives, whether that be social or economic, or impact on family or society. If the Pandemic has resulted in a personal legal crisis for you, you’ll need of a dedicated, specialized and caring law firm to help.   

Daniel T. Geherin, owner of Geherin Law Group in Ann Arbor (GLG Michigan), is a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal attorney with over 24 years’ experience. He has prosecuted/defended/litigated nearly every type of criminal case, including criminal sexual conduct offenses, homicide cases, narcotic violations, domestic violence charges, embezzlement and fraud investigations, and theft offenses.

Dan is also a DUI attorney and driver’s license appeals specialist. In 2020 and 2021, the Geherin Law Group was named a “Tier 1” OWI/DUI Defense Firm in Ann Arbor by US News Best Lawyers. Dan has consistently been named by Michigan SuperLawyers Magazine in the field of DUI Defense. He’s received the highest rating for legal ethics and ability, AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell. Dan has advised countless first-time OWI/DUI clients on how best to protect themselves to either avoid or reduce the consequences of a conviction.

Every day since the Pandemic began, Dan and his team field calls from people who are suffering through a personal legal problem, many of them amplified by the crisis. They have questions like these:

“Am I going to jail during the Pandemic?”

“Do I have a right to a trial during the Pandemic?”

“How do we appear for court during the current shutdowns?”

If you’re facing a first-time OWI arrest or other criminal charges during the Pandemic, and have questions or concerns, please consider the combination of extensive criminal/license experience of the Geherin Law Group.  We’re available 24/7 to help! We’re dedicated to our clients! Our DUI attorney in Ann Arbor will fight zealously to protect and restore your reputation and driver’s license. For more information, visit us at,, or call us 24/7 at (734) 263-2780.

Even during the Pandemic, to us, it’s Personal. 

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Geherin Law Group, PLLC, represents out-of-state residents seeking removal of a Michigan license hold, as well as clients who live anywhere throughout the State of Michigan, including those in Ann Arbor, Adrian, Berkley, Battle Creek, Bay City, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Cadillac, Canton, Carleton, Chelsea, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Dexter, Detroit, Dundee, East Lansing, Ferndale, Farmington Hills, Flint, Garden City, Grand Rapids, Grosse Pointe, Hartland, Howell, Huntington Woods, Jackson, Livonia, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Livonia, Marquette, Milan, Monroe, Muskegon, Northville, Novi, Plymouth, Pontiac, Portage, Port Huron, Rockford, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, Saline, Saginaw, Southfield, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Tecumseh, Traverse City, Troy, Warren, Waterford, Westland, and Ypsilanti.

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