The other day in my blog, I wrote about bad habits sometimes putting even financially responsible people on a downward financial path ultimately leading to bankruptcy. I gave as one example smoking-induced illnesses that result in very high, in many cases unsustainable, medical costs. One other example of an unhealthy behavior that takes an enormous tolI on people’s finances is alcohol abuse. First of all, alcoholism is linked to a number of heart, liver, ulcer, and pancreas problems that are extraordinarily expensive to treat. Then, many traffic injuries are the result of someone driving under the influence of alcohol, and there again, medical costs can bring down even a financially stable family.

An important and interesting side note to all this is that the Bankruptcy Code actually states that debts for personal injury or death caused by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

You may imagine that, with my seeing hundreds of people in my four Indiana bankruptcy law offices each month, I encounter all kinds of situations and hear all kinds of very sad stories. I take pride in being a consumer bankruptcy specialist and a counselor to people, helping them handle their debts and rebuild their lives. Typically, people who come to see me have a number of challenges they are facing, all at the same time. Perhaps a job loss coincides with a child’s or a spouse’s illness, or with a messy divorce. These are the types of problems for which the bankruptcy system was designed, and these are challenges I am trained to help clients face. To the extent that the financial problems are a direct result of car accidents caused by my clients while driving intoxicated, however, our options within the bankruptcy system are limited. Alcohol abuse is a true example of a bad habit leading to a very bad result for all concerned.