Does Enforcement of Drunk Driving Laws Make for Safer Roads?

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Most people are aware that drinking and driving don’t mix. Impaired driving is responsible for a lot of injuries and deaths resulting from traffic crashes. Jurisdictions across the nation have drunk driving laws to help reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads. Are our roads safer when these drunk driving laws are enforced?
 
According to a new study published last month in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the answer is “yes”. When drunk driving laws are enforced, we do end up with safer roads.
 
The study, which used data from the 2007 National Roadside Survey, examined different types of enforcement in order to determine what was effective in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. The two measures of enforcement that appeared to have the best deterrent effect were higher rates of both random traffic stops and DUI (driving under the influence) arrests.
 
States that used these two methods vigilantly to enforce drunk driving laws had fewer drunk drivers on the roads, likely because both these measures deterred drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place. In other words, when people think they’re likely to get caught, they think twice about driving while impaired.
 
“Saturation patrols”, in which law enforcement officers looked out for behaviour associated with impaired driving, such as weaving in between lanes and speeding, did not appear to have any effect on drunk driving rates. The study was unable to determine the effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints, roadside campaigns where all motorists are stopped and given a DUI screening, as only one of the police agencies the study looked at employed sobriety checks regularly.
 
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident involving an impaired driver, Bradley I. Kramer and his experienced legal team are here to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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