Dead on Arrival: Zero Tolerance Laws Don't Work

37 Pages Posted: 5 May 2008

See all articles by Darren P. Grant

Darren P. Grant

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business

Abstract

By 1998 all states passed laws lowering the legal blood alcohol content for drivers under 21 to effectively zero. Theory shows these laws have ambiguous effects on overall fatalities and economic efficiency, and the data show they have little effect on driver behavior. A panel analysis of the 1988-2000 FARS indicates that zero tolerance laws have little or no effect on the level of fatalities, while further analysis reveals virtually no change in the distribution of fatalities by driver BAC.

Keywords: Zero tolerance, traffic safety, drunk driving

JEL Classification: I12, I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Grant, Darren P., Dead on Arrival: Zero Tolerance Laws Don't Work. Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1129509 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.647609

Darren P. Grant (Contact Author)

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business ( email )

SHSU Box 2118
Huntsville, TX 77341-2118
United States
936-294-4324 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shsu.edu/dpg006

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