Article

“The Relationship of Alcohol Safety Laws to Drinking Drivers in Fatal Crashes.”

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Landover, MD 20875, USA.
Accident Analysis & Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.87). 08/2000; 32(4):483-92. DOI: 10.1016/S0001-4575(99)00063-9
Source: PubMed

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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Available from: James C Fell, Oct 21, 2014
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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). "
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    • "The advantage of using the rate ratio, instead of the rate, is the ability to control for the effects of extraneous factors affecting the occurrence of MVCs over the study period, such as the road environment (Hingson et al., 1998; Voas et al., 2000; Nakahara and Ichikawa, 2011). Although the trend of the MVC rate would decline if the road environment improves, the rate ratio would not decline unless the improved road environment affects the rate unevenly across the age groups. "
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    • "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). "
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