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Slippery When Wet: The Effects of Local Alcohol Access Laws on Highway Safety

  • Reagan Baughman
  • Michael Conlin
  • Stacy Dickert-Conlin
  • John Pepper

This paper examines 237 instances of policy changes related to alcohol sales and consumption enacted in Texas communities between 1975 and 1996 to determine their effect on the incidence of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. These policies are categorized by location where the alcohol is consumed after sale (on the premises or off) and the type of alcohol available for consumption (beer and wine or hard liquor). After controlling for both county and year fixed effects, we find evidence that (i) the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises (in bars and restaurants) is associated with a sizeable increase in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, (ii) the sale of alcohol (in liquor stores) for consumption off the premises may actually decrease expected accidents, and (iii) the sale of higher proof alcohol (hard liquor) presents greater risk to highway safety.

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File URL: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/cpr/publications/working_papers2/wp31.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 31.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:31
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Web page: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/cpr.aspx
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  1. Adit Laixuthai & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1993. "Youth Alcohol Use and Public Policy," NBER Working Papers 4278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1994. "This Tax's for You: The Case for Higher Beer Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(3), pages 559-73, September.
  3. Saffer, Henry & Grossman, Michael, 1987. "Drinking Age Laws and Highway Mortality Rates: Cause and Effect," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(3), pages 403-17, July.
  4. David N. Figlio, 1995. "The effect of drinking age laws and alcohol-related crashes: Time-series evidence from Wisconsin," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 555-566.
  5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1996. "Alcohol policies and highway vehicle fatalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 435-454, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Kenkel, Donald S, 1993. "Drinking, Driving, and Deterrence: The Effectiveness and Social Costs of Alternative Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 877-913, October.
  8. Henry Saffer & Michael Grossman, 1986. "Beer Taxes, the Legal Drinking Age, and Youth Motor Vehicle Fatalities," NBER Working Papers 1914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert W. Brown & R. Todd Jewell, 1996. "County-Level Alcohol Availability and Cirrhosis Mortality," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 291-301, Summer.
  10. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "State alcohol policies, teen drinking and traffic fatalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 289-315, May.
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