Roads Safer When Drunk Drivers Immediately Lose License to Kill

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
July 24, 2007
Roads Safer When Drunk Drivers Immediately Lose License to Kill
Study shows threat of on-the-spot license suspension a greater deterrent to drunk driving than postconviction punishment
By Coco Ballantyne
Nearly 40 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. involve drinking, resulting in annual death toll of 17,000, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, according to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 17 percent of drivers age 21 and over admit to getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or using illegal drugs at least once a year. A surefire way to prevent at least some of such accidents? Immediately take away the license of anyone who fails a breath test, a move that already saves at least 800 lives a year, says a new study...

...Wagenaar and fellow U.F. epidemiologist Mildred Maldonado-Molina compared 26 years of federal crash data from 46 states with driver's license suspension laws. "We basically did 46 studies" estimating the impact of suspension laws on alcohol-related accidents for each state and then aggregated the results, Wagenaar says. Their findings, published in the August issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, confirm that laws mandating immediate license suspension reduce the number of drinking-and-driving fatalities by 5 percent, indicating that the measures appear to encourage people to hesitate before boozing and driving. Researchers say the laws seem to deter both social drinkers and carousers...
 
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snowbird25ca

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Alberta has a law like this - if you're caught drinking and driving, it's an immediate 24 hr suspension - not sure what happens after that, or how much effect it's had though.

Would be great to see lots of other areas adopt the same policy. Seems drunk drivers get off way too easily and get nothing more than a slap on the wrist even when people die because of them. :thumbsdown:
 

ThreeBeans

New member
I'd like to see an immediate minimal 6-month suspension, complete with certain volunteer activities, rehab and reparations if you want your license back after 6 months.
 

sfeitler

New member
I think it's really funny that the summary of this topic on the main page is "Roads safer when drunk..."

But I have a perverse sense of humor. :)

-Sarah
 

Guest

New member
I'd like to see an immediate minimal 6-month suspension, complete with certain volunteer activities, rehab and reparations if you want your license back after 6 months.

I'd settle for just an immediate suspension and impounding of the car.

Post suspension is crap. I dunno how many times I've seen a drunk driver walk into court, get his license suspended, and then walk back out and drive away. Court bailiffs catch a bunch in the parking lot as they attempt this, but they can't be everywhere at once so most slip away.
 

waterbaby

New member
I think it's China or Japan (?) that revokes a license FOR LIFE on the first DUI charge, period. Like, they are never allowed to drive again. And therefore, they have very low DUI statistics. The other (I really should google all this, lol) the license if revoked for a year, no questions asked, and has to be renewed every year for seven years, dependent on the person's driving record... and other stipulations I'm sure.
I'm wish it was like that here in the US. Drunk drivers get one too many slaps on the hand before anything happens.
 

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