Monday, June 9, 2008

Zero Tolerance for under age 21 DWI positively influences college students decisions to drink and drive

There has been a lot of criticism of the legal drinking age being 21 with a desire to lower it back to 18. The only problem is that from a public health perspective the drinking age of 21 saves thousands of lives. Here at GCASA we have a "Support 21" club which promotes the law of 21 being the legal drinking age.

I will post further information on this blog dealing with the 21 drinking age issue. Here is an abtract of a study in a recent Health Economics issue which found that the Zero tolerance laws for DWI for people under 21 definitely influence college students decisions to drink and drive positively.

Zero tolerance laws make it illegal per se for anyone under age 21 to drive with any measurable amount of blood alcohol. Although a link has been established between zero tolerance laws and lower motor vehicle fatalities, research has not produced strong evidence on how zero tolerance laws influence individual alcohol use and drinking and driving behaviors. Using a unique data set and a difference-in-difference-in-difference-type research design, we are able to analyze a number of pathways through which zero tolerance laws can work among an important underage population, college students. We find that zero tolerance laws reduce drinking and driving among college students. Further analysis of our detailed alcohol use measures suggests that zero tolerance laws are particularly effective at reducing the probability of driving after drinking for those who reported drinking away from home.

Video lasts 2:41

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