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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193902 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Zero-Tolerance Laws To Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving by Youth
Corporate Author: US Dept of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
United States of America
Date Published: January 1998
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
Washington, DC 20590
Sale Source: US Dept of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Admin
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
West Building
Washington, DC 20590
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Factsheet; Legislation/Policy Description
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After presenting key facts on alcohol-impaired driving by youth (ages 15-20), this report recommends that States enact zero tolerance laws designed to reduce drinking and driving among younger drivers; guidelines for such laws are provided.
Abstract: More than 32 percent of all deaths of 15 through 20 year-olds result from motor vehicle crashes. In 1996, 36.6 percent of the 6,319 traffic fatalities of 15 through 20 year-olds were alcohol-related. The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages States to enact zero tolerance laws to reduce drinking and driving by younger drivers. Such laws should establish that any measurable amount (a maximum of 0.02) of alcohol in the blood, breath, or urine of a driver under age 21 would be an "illegal per se" offense. Such laws should also provide for the immediate suspension of the driver license for those under age 21 who exceed the applicable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. All 50 States and the District of Columbia now have laws that prohibit the purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages by those under the age of 21; therefore, it is reasonable to expect drivers under the age of 21 not to have any alcohol in their systems, and the appropriate BAC for these drivers would be zero; however, for enforcement purposes, some States have enacted laws that establish a BAC level of 0.02, at which it is illegal for those under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle. Several studies have shown conclusively that zero tolerance laws save lives by significantly reducing the number of fatal crashes that involve young drivers. Beginning in fiscal year 1999, States that do not consider a 0.02 BAC (or less) to be driving while intoxicated for drivers under age 21 will be subject to the withholding of Federal-Aid Highway Funds. States that do have such a law will be eligible for Section 410 (Highway Safety Act) drunk-driving incentive grant funds. 4 references and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Alcoholic beverage consumption; Alcoholic beverages; Deterrence effectiveness; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Legal drinking age; State laws
Note: State Legislative Fact Sheet, January 1998.
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