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Drunk Driving Legislation and Traffic Fatalities: What Works and What Doesn’t?


  • Donald Freeman

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)


This paper re-examines the effectiveness of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and Administrative License Revocation (ALR) laws in reducing traffic fatalities. Using difference-in-differences estimators of U.S. state-level data with standard errors corrected for autocorrelation, we find no evidence that lowering BAC limits to 0.08 grams/decaliter has reduced fatality rates, either in total or in alcohol-related crashes. On the other hand, ALR is found to be an effective in reducing fatalities in all specifications. Endogeneity tests using event analyses indicate temporal causality of ALR laws.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Freeman, 2005. "Drunk Driving Legislation and Traffic Fatalities: What Works and What Doesn’t?," Working Papers 0505, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0505

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