Dead on Arrival: Zero Tolerance Laws Don't Work

15 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2010  

Darren P. Grant

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

Abstract

By 1998, all states had 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 Fatality Analysis Reporting System indicates that zero tolerance laws have no material influence on the level of fatalities, while quantile regression reveals virtually no change in the distribution of blood alcohol content among drivers involved in fatal accidents.

Suggested Citation

Grant, Darren P., Dead on Arrival: Zero Tolerance Laws Don't Work. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 48, Issue 3, pp. 756-770, July 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1627398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00196.x

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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