For many states, the hope of cutting down on fatal alcohol-related accidents have led to steadily increasing the strength of laws related to driving under the influence and alcohol in general. States have considered everything from restricting access to alcohol to lowering the allowed blood alcohol concentration for drivers. Now, a recent study shows there might be a correlation between strict alcohol regulations and fewer alcohol-related fatal accidents.
The study was conducted by Timothy S. Naimi of the Boston University School of Medicine and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The basic question the study sought to answer was whether or not alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents were less likely in states with stronger alcohol regulations. The study was massive, with researchers analyzing data from 505,614 crashes involving an adult death from 2000 to 2015. According to the study, one out of three fatalities was alcohol related. That is a staggering 168,538 deaths due to accidents in which alcohol played a role.
Men were involved in four out of five fatal crashes, according to the study, while 86% of all adults involved were aged 21 to 54. The study also shows 67% of fatalities were driving during the accident. Fifteen percent of fatalities were passengers, while the remainder included pedestrians, cyclists, or occupants of vehicles that were parked. By race, white people accounted for 55% of crash fatalities.
The study also grades each state on a scale from zero to 100 on how restrictive their alcohol laws are. As a benchmark, researchers compared 29 policies that can impact alcohol purchases and drunk driving across all 50 states. In the end, the average score across all states was 50.3.
Researchers observed a correlation between tougher alcohol restrictions and fewer alcohol-related fatalities. Each 10-percentage point increase in their score correlated with a 10-percentage point reduction in the odds of a DUI fatality. According to Naimi, “It's a drinking, not just driving, problem, and folks don't tend to make good decisions once impaired.” Naimi continued, saying, “Our study shows that policies targeting both aspects of the equation are helpful, though we could do a lot better on both. Having a smaller pool of impaired people available to drive is a big help in reducing impaired driving.”
The scope of regulations the study considered was broad. Researchers looked at regulations that limited the purchase of alcohol, including higher taxes and restrictions on the time and place alcohol can be purchased. The study also considered laws regarding driving under the influence, like sobriety checkpoints and blood alcohol concentration limits.
With DUI laws steadily increasing in strength, it's not uncommon to find yourself facing charges of DUI. If you have been arrested in the Seattle, Washington area for driving under the influence, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi is here to help. Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who has dedicated his law practice to defending those accused of crimes. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for your free consultation and let their experience work for you.