Evaluation of the Texas 0.08 BAC Law

In October 2000, federal legislation was enacted that required states to set 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as the legal limit for automobile drivers. This article reports on a study undertaken to assess the effects on alcohol-involved traffic crashes and fatalities of the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per se law introduced in the state of Texas in 1999. The authors extracted information pertaining to alcohol-involved traffic crashes and fatalities from two datasets: the Fatality Accident Reporting System (FARS) compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (for the period January 1995-September 2002), and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports of Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents and Casualties (for the period January 1995-December 2000). The authors investigated the effects of the law on all drivers, along with the effects among gender, racial, and age subgroups and crash location (urban versus rural). With the exception of the first six months of the all-accidents timeline, the DPS trends for each data point were fairly stable throughout the period and appear unchanged after the introduction of the 0.08 BAC law. The authors conclude that the data do not support the hypothesis that the 0.08 BAC law reduced alcohol-involved traffic accidents and fatalities in Texas during this period. The authors call for additional studies that explore in more detail the conditions, such as publicity and enforcement, under which the law does or does not contribute to a decline in alcohol-involved accidents and fatalities.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Gorman, Dennis M
    • Huber, J Charles
    • Carozza, Susan E
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01042717
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 28 2007 7:19AM