Journal Article

Association of Alcohol-related Laws with Deaths due to Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Crashes in the United States, 1980–1997

Andrés Villaveces, Peter Cummings, Thomas D. Koepsell, Frederick P. Rivara, Thomas Lumley and John Moffat

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 157, issue 2, pages 131-140
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwf186
Association of Alcohol-related Laws with Deaths due to Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Crashes in the United States, 1980–1997

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The authors compared US motor vehicle and motorcycle mortality rates during periods when each of several alcohol-related laws were in effect with mortality rates during other periods. During the period 1980–1997, there were 792,184 deaths due to motor vehicle crashes and 63,052 deaths due to motorcycle crashes. An estimated 26% and 49% of these fatalities, respectively, were attributable to alcohol use. The incidence of alcohol-related mortality in motor vehicle crashes was lower when laws specifying a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dl per se (laws stating that it is a criminal offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration above the state’s legal limit) were in effect (adjusted rate ratio (RR) = 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.83, 0.88). For motorcycle deaths, the adjusted rate ratio was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.79, 0.95). The incidence of alcohol-related mortality in motor vehicle crashes was also lower during periods when two other types of laws were in effect: zero tolerance laws (adjusted RR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.86, 0.90) and administrative license revocation laws (adjusted RR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.93, 0.98). Overall motorcycle mortality was lower when administrative license revocation laws were in effect (adjusted RR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.92, 0.98).

Keywords: accidents, traffic; alcoholic intoxication; automobile driving; automobiles; legislation; motorcycles; Abbreviations: BAC, blood alcohol concentration; CI, confidence interval; RR, rate ratio.

Journal Article.  6662 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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