The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4096.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #46077

Controlling drinking and driving and attendant problems

Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, Section of Emergency Medicine, Yale University, 464 Congress Ave, Suite 260, New Haven, CT 06519, 203.785.3917,

Alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the US have recently increased from 38% of crash fatalities in 1999 to 40% of crash fatalities in 2000. There had been a steady decline in this proportion, from a high of 57% in 1982 to a low of 38% in 1999. During this time period, numerous policies were implemented in states across the country, including the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA), administrative per se laws, zero tolerance for impaired driving in underage drinkers, .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) laws and open container laws. Federal laws have resulted in the creation of financial incentives to enact certain policies. There is evidence to support the efficacy of specific policies in decreasing impaired driving thereby decreasing alcohol related traffic fatalities. Studies by Hingson, et al, have demonstrated the effectiveness of .08 BAC laws and zero tolerance laws. The MLDA has affected a decrease in alcohol related problems among young people. Many policies that are being proposed and enacted remain to be evaluated. For example, what is the impact of lower BAC limits for repeat offenders? Does mandatory reporting of injured, impaired drivers by health professionals result in decreased impaired driving? This presentation will focus on the evidence base for current policies, as well as the issues related to federal vs. state policies and the impact of federal incentives for policy enactment.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, the attendee will be able

Keywords: Alcohol, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm through Evidence-Based Policies

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA