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Drinking and Driving

Frank Sloan ()

No 26779, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Driving while intoxicated causes many traffic accidents and deaths. Two decisions are closely related, whether to engage in heavy drinking, and to drive, conditional on heavy drinking. This paper reviews the extensive literature on heavy drinking, addiction, and driving after heavy drinking. Relevant public policies involve a combination of deterrence, incapacitation, and treatment. While there is empirical support for the rational addiction model applied to heavy drinking, some attributes of drinker-drivers differ from others (e.g., impulsivity in domains other than alcohol consumption, hyperbolic discounting). Policies most effective in reducing drinking and driving are alcohol excise taxes, minimum drinking age and zero tolerance laws for underage persons, dram shop and social host liability, and criminal sanctions overall. Empirical studies have not determined which specific criminal sanctions are most effective. A major impediment to criminal sanctions as a deterrent is that the probability of being stopped/arrested when driving while intoxicated is extremely low,

JEL-codes: I12 K14 K15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-law and nep-tre
Note: HE
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