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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"As in the 2009 study, we selected 3 laws with strong evidence for regulating drinking-and-driving behaviors, including lowering the BAC limit for driving to 0.10 (followed later by its lowering to 0.08) and ALR laws. These 3 laws have been shown to be effective in reducing impaired-driving fatal crashes (Klein, 1989; Shults et al., 2001; Voas et al., 2000; Wagenaar and Maldonado-Molina, 2007; Wagenaar et al., 2007) and subsequently were deemed necessary to include as control variables in the current research. The effective dates of these laws were drawn from NHTSA's Digests of State Alcohol Highway Safety Legislation (1983 to 2005) and from the Digests of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws (2006 to 2013). "
"Recent systematic reviews report that lowering the BAC limit is an effective strategy to prevent alcohol-related crashes (Mann et al., 2001; Fell and Voas, 2006). This strategy seems to affect drivers of all drinking levels (Brooks and Zaal, 1992; Kloeden and McLean, 1994; Hingson et al., 1996 and 2000; Voas et al., 2000; Wagenaar et al., 2007) and its effect is proportional to the level of sobriety checkpoints (Tippetts et al., 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article presents the results of an evaluation of administrative laws introduced over time in different Canadian provinces to lower the permitted blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for driving or having care of a motor vehicle to .05% or less. Regression models for longitudinal data were used to estimate the effects of these laws on fatal alcohol-related collisions. Results reveal that significant decreases in the percentage of fatally injured drivers with prohibited BAC levels were recorded following the introduction of the laws. Reductions were observed for drivers of all drinking levels.
"Most states have outlawed the consumption of alcoholic beverages by those younger than 21 at different times. Studies related to MLDA include Saffer and Grossman (1987), Wilkinson (1987), Wagenaar (1986), Saffer and Chaloupka (1989), Figlio (1995), Dee (1999), and Voas et al. (1999a). Zero tolerance laws—A zero tolerance law makes it illegal for persons under the age of 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the impact of drinking and driving laws on drinking and driving fatality rates, this study explored the different effects these laws have on areas with varying severity rates for drinking and driving. Unlike previous studies, this study employed quantile regression analysis. Empirical results showed that policies based on local conditions must be used to effectively reduce drinking and driving fatality rates; that is, different measures should be adopted to target the specific conditions in various regions. For areas with low fatality rates (low quantiles), people's habits and attitudes toward alcohol should be emphasized instead of transportation safety laws because "preemptive regulations" are more effective. For areas with high fatality rates (or high quantiles), "ex-post regulations" are more effective, and impact these areas approximately 0.01% to 0.05% more than they do areas with low fatality rates.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10/2013; 10(10):4628-4644. DOI:10.3390/ijerph10104628 · 2.06 Impact Factor