The Law on Drunk Driving

Examines driving under the influence and the laws pertaining to it.

This paper reviews the nature and extent of the drinking-driving problem in the United States, discusses major legal and community initiatives in the past 15 years to reduce the problem, and examines other potential interventions for further reducing injuries and fatalities from alcohol-impaired driving. The paper concludes by pointing out that although increases in the implementation of MLDA laws, traffic laws, and programs have helped cut alcohol-related traffic deaths by 31 percent nationwide, the bulk of the problem persists.
“Research shows there is an imperative link between man’s behavior with that of alcohol. Even at blood alcohol concentrations (BAC’s) as low as 0.02 percent, alcohol affects driver performance by reducing reaction time and slowing the decision-making process. Epidemiological research comparing BAC’s of drivers in single-vehicle fatal crashes with those of drivers stopped at random in nationwide surveys indicates that each 0.02-percent increase in BAC nearly doubles a driver’s risk of being in a fatal crash (Zador 1991). The risk increases more rapidly with each drink for drivers under age 21, who have less experience in driving and who, as a group, more often take risks in traffic, such as speeding or failing to wear seatbelts. For all groups of drivers, fatal crash involvement per miles driven increases nine fold at BAC’s of 0.05 to 0.09 percent (Zador 1991).”