The relationship of alcohol safety laws to drinking drivers in fatal crashes.
ABSTRACT This paper presents an analysis of the relationships between the passage of key alcohol safety laws and the number of drinking drivers in fatal crashes. The study evaluated three major alcohol safety laws--administrative license revocation laws, 0.10 illegal per se, and 0.08 illegal per se laws--on the proportion of drinking drivers in fatal crashes. Drivers aged 21 and older in fatal crashes at two BAC levels--0.01-0.09 and 0.10 or greater--were considered separately. Drivers under age 21 were not included because they are affected by the Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) law. This study used data on drinking drivers in fatal crashes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) covering 16 years (1982-1997) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Also included in the study were such variables as per capita alcohol consumption and annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT), which could affect the number of alcohol-related crashes. The results indicate that each of the three laws had a significant relationship to the downward trend in alcohol-related fatal crashes in the United States over that period. This paper points out that this long-term trend is not the product of a single law. Instead, it is the result of the growing impact of several laws over time plus the affect of some factors not included in the model tested (such as the increasing use of sobriety checkpoints and the media's attention to the drinking-and-driving problem).
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ABSTRACT: Emergency physicians are confronted daily with the care of traumatically injured patients. A considerable proportion of blunt trauma cases are due to motor vehicle crashes. While men have historically been overrepresented in crash-related injuries and deaths, unfavorable trends for women in alcohol-impaired driving crashes have emerged. This extended commentary with in-depth review presents an examination of the evolving role of sex and gender in alcohol-impaired driving and its outcomes. © 2014 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.Academic Emergency Medicine 12/2014; 21(12):1485-1492. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Evidence on the impact of lowering the legal BAC limits on traffic outcomes is examined. In most jurisdictions where an evaluation of lowered legal limit has been conducted, some beneficial effects on traffic safety measures have been reported. These effects were in some cases relatively small, and in other cases temporary. Available evidence suggests that these beneficial effects were due to general deterrence and not restricted only to groups of drivers specifically affected by the legal change. Introduction A large number of legal initiatives, enforcement efforts and prevention programs introduced over the past two decades are associated with decreases in alcohol-related collisions and deaths in various jurisdictions (1) but drinking-driving still remains. Legal measures have provided the foundation of successful efforts to reduce drunk driving and its associated collisions, injuries and fatalities (2, 3). The key to efforts to reduce this problem in recent years has been the adoption of what has been termed the Scandinavian model of deterrence of drunk driving which make it an offence to drive with a blood alcohol level beyond a certain limit. These per se laws greatly facilitate the apprehension and prosecution of drunk drivers by providing an objective and simple means of detecting alcohol impairment. Per se laws enabled large scale and continuing attacks on drinking and driving based on general deterrence, and include large-scale enforcement campaigns and public awareness efforts (4). This review summarizes evidence on the impact of lowering the legal BAC on drinking-driving and associated collisions, injuries and fatalities in several jurisdictions. The evidence considered includes self-report measures, official statistics (i.e., arrests, collisions, and fatalities) and roadside survey data.