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Drunk Driving Legislation And Traffic Fatalities: New Evidence On Bac 08 Laws

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  • DONALD G. FREEMAN

Abstract

This article reexamines the effectiveness of blood alcohol content (BAC) laws in reducing traffic fatalities. Differences‐in‐differences estimators of U.S. state‐level data with standard errors corrected for autocorrelation show no evidence that lowering the BAC limits to 0.08 g/dL reduced fatality rates, either in total or in crashes likely to be alcohol related, or in states that passed BAC 08 in laws either in advance of or in response to federal pressure. Other legislations, including administrative license revocation and primary seat belt laws, are found effective in reducing fatalities in all specifications. Endogeneity tests using event analyses confirm the differences‐in‐differences estimates. (JEL I18, K32)

Suggested Citation

  • Donald G. Freeman, 2007. "Drunk Driving Legislation And Traffic Fatalities: New Evidence On Bac 08 Laws," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 293-308, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:25:y:2007:i:3:p:293-308
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7287.2007.00039.x
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    Cited by:

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    2. Darren Grant, 2021. "Understanding the Decline in Drinking and Driving During “The Other Great Moderation”," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(4), pages 876-907, December.
    3. Jeffrey A. Miron & Elina Tetelbaum, 2009. "Does The Minimum Legal Drinking Age Save Lives?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(2), pages 317-336, April.
    4. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Per Se Drugged Driving Laws and Traffic Fatalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. Girma, Sourafel & Paton, David, 2022. "Is assisted suicide a substitute for unassisted suicide?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    7. 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.
    8. Anderson, D. Mark & Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2012. "High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide," IZA Discussion Papers 6280, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2013. "Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 333-369.
    10. Per G. Fredriksson & Stephan Gohmann & Khawaja Mamun, 2009. "Taxing Under the Influence?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 37(3), pages 339-365, May.
    11. Darren Grant, 2010. "Dead On Arrival: Zero Tolerance Laws Don'T Work," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 756-770, July.
    12. Richard Guy Cox & Darren Grant, 2017. "Traffic Safety and Human Capital," Working Papers 1701, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    13. Ullman, Darin F., 2016. "Locked and not loaded: First time offenders and state ignition interlock programs," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.
    14. Grant, Darren, 2016. "A structural analysis of U.S. drunk driving policy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 14-22.
    15. Donald Freeman, 2012. "Income and Preventable Mortality: The Case of Youth Traffic Fatalities," Working Papers 1201, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    16. Wright, Nicholas Anthony & Lee, La-troy, 2017. "New Evidence on the Casual Effect of Traffic safety Laws on Drunk Driving and Traffic Fatalities," MPRA Paper 82730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Roger Tovar-Falón & Guillermo Martínez-Flórez & Luis Páez-Martínez, 2023. "Bivariate Unit-Weibull Distribution: Properties and Inference," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 11(17), pages 1-19, September.
    18. Hjalmarsson Randi & Lindquist Matthew J., 2010. "Driving Under the Influence of Our Fathers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, November.
    19. Andrés García-Echalar & Tomás Rau, 2020. "The Effects of Increasing Penalties in Drunk Driving Laws—Evidence from Chile," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(21), pages 1-16, November.
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    21. French, Michael & Gumus, Gulcin, 2024. "Hit-and-Run or Hit-and-Stay? Unintended Effects of a Stricter BAC Limit," IZA Discussion Papers 16774, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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