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Does setting limits save lives? The case of 0.08 BAC laws

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  • Thomas S Dee

Abstract

Nineteen states have established laws that make it illegal per se to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08. The controversy over extending this stricter definition throughout the nation has focused largely on whether the state laws have been effective at saving lives. Prior evidence on this question has been mixed as well as criticized on several methodological grounds. This study presents novel, panel-based evaluations of 0.08 BAC laws, which address the potential methodological limitations of previous studies. The results of this study indicate that 0.08 BAC laws have been effective in reducing the number of traffic fatalities, particularly among younger adults. These estimates suggest that the nationwide adoption of 0.08 BAC laws would generate substantial gains, reducing the annual count of traffic fatalities by at least 1200. © 2001 by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 20 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 111-128

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:1:p:111-128

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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References

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  1. Brent D. Mast & Bruce L. Benson & David W. Rasmussen, 1999. "Beer Taxation and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 214-249, October.
  2. Chaloupka, Frank J & Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1993. "Alcohol-Control Policies and Motor-Vehicle Fatalities," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 161-86, January.
  3. Lave, Charles & Elias, Patrick, 1994. "Did the 65 mph Speed Limit Save Lives?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0z88b38t, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael T. French & Gulcin G. Gumus, 2013. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Motorcycle Fatalities in the U.S," Working Papers 2013-12, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  2. Carpenter, Christopher, 2004. "How do Zero Tolerance Drunk Driving Laws work?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 61-83, January.
  3. Dills, Angela K., 2010. "Social host liability for minors and underage drunk-driving accidents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 241-249, March.
  4. Cooper, James C. & Wright, Joshua D., 2012. "Alcohol, antitrust, and the 21st Amendment: An empirical examination of post and hold laws," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 379-392.
  5. Daniel Albalate, 2013. "The Road against Fatalities: Infrastructure Spending vs. Regulation?," ERSA conference papers ersa13p221, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Cotti, Chad D. & Walker, Douglas M., 2010. "The impact of casinos on fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 788-796, December.
  7. French, Michael T. & Gumus, Gulcin & Homer, Jenny F., 2012. "Motorcycle fatalities among out-of-state riders and the role of universal helmet laws," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(10), pages 1855-1863.
  8. French, Michael T. & Gumus, Gulcin & Homer, Jenny F., 2009. "Public policies and motorcycle safety," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 831-838, July.
  9. Dee, Thomas S. & Grabowski, David C. & Morrisey, Michael A., 2005. "Graduated driver licensing and teen traffic fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 571-589, May.
  10. José I. Castillo-Manzano & Mercedes Castro-Nuño & Xavier Fageda, 2014. "“Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in experiences of European countries”," IREA Working Papers 201415, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2014.
  11. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2011. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 6112, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Carpenter, Christopher, 2005. "Youth alcohol use and risky sexual behavior: evidence from underage drunk driving laws," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 613-628, May.
  13. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7048, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Guangqing Chi & Jeremy Porter & Arthur Cosby & David Levinson, 2009. "A Time Geography Approach to Understanding the Impact of Gasoline Price Changes on Traffic Safety," Working Papers 000092, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  15. Adams, Scott & Cotti, Chad, 2008. "Drunk driving after the passage of smoking bans in bars," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1288-1305, June.
  16. Darren Grant, 2011. "Politics, Policy Analysis, and the Passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984," Working Papers 1103, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.

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