IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlawec/v50y2007p539-557.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Heavy Alcohol Use and Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk-Driving Laws

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Carpenter

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the causal effect of alcohol use and crime. I use variation induced by the adoption of strict zero-tolerance (ZT) drunk-driving laws, which significantly reduced binge drinking by males aged 18–20 years but did not affect slightly older males aged 22–24 years. I use age-specific arrest data for police agencies in metropolitan statistical areas to estimate the effect of ZT laws on crime, controlling for both year and police agency fixed effects. I find that ZT laws significantly increased the fraction of adult male arrests for driving under the influence attributable to 18–20-year-olds and decreased the fraction of nuisance and property crime arrests attributable to 18–20-year-olds, with no effects on violent crime. These results are validated by important null findings: ZT laws did not affect arrests in any crime category for males aged 22–24 years. These results suggest that heavy alcohol use causes the commission of property and nuisance crimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Carpenter, 2007. "Heavy Alcohol Use and Crime: Evidence from Underage Drunk-Driving Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 539-557.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:539-557 DOI: 10.1086/519809
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/519809
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420.
    2. Christopher L. Foote & Christopher F. Goetz, 2005. "Testing economic hypotheses with state-level data: a comment on Donohue and Levitt (2001)," Working Papers 05-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Joksch, Hans C. & Jones, Ralph K., 1993. "Changes in the drinking age and crime," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 209-221.
    4. Wechsler, Henry & Lee, Jae Eun & Hall, John & Wagenaar, Alexander C. & Lee, Hang, 2002. "Secondhand effects of student alcohol use reported by neighbors of colleges: the role of alcohol outlets," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 425-435, August.
    5. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
    6. Henry Wechsler & Jae Eun Lee & John Hall & Alexander C. Wagenaar & Hang Lee, "undated". "Secondhand Effects of Student Alcohol Use Reported by Neighbors of Colleges: The Role of Alcohol Outlets," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 49d0945e17834b399918fb924, Mathematica Policy Research.
    7. Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Pepper, John, 2005. "The Effect of Alcohol Prohibition on Illicit-Drug-Related Crimes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 215-234, April.
    8. Sara Markowitz, 2000. "The Price of Alcohol, Wife Abuse, and Husband Abuse," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 279-303, July.
    9. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
    10. Markowitz, Sara & Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The effects of beer taxes on physical child abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 271-282, March.
    11. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
    12. Evans, William N. & Owens, Emily G., 2007. "COPS and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 181-201, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:539-557. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.