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
Does setting limits save lives? The Case of 0.08 BAC laws
Year of Publication:2001
Publication:Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
(2001). Does setting limits save lives? The Case of 0.08 BAC laws. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 20(1), 113-130.