Thursday, June 11, 2009

Drunk Driving articles in the Wall Street Journal

Two good articles in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Yesterday there was a discussion of drunk driver data by The Numbers Guy - Carl Bialik. It talks about statistics on the risks of driving at varying blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels. Bialik briefly mentions flaws in breath testing. Hopefully he'll do a more complete discussion in the future.

The day before there was an article, Drunk Driving Foes Split, about how infighting between MADD and another group about when ignition interlock devices should be made mandatory - for drivers caught over 0.08, or at 0.15 and above.

Drunk driving deaths have remained steady for about 15 years, even though there are more DUI patrols and harsher penalties. It thus appears that the extra enforcement isn't doing much.

I talked about this in the past on my other blog about how our drunk driving laws waste money.

If we really want to reduce drunk driving deaths there are better options: Increasing mass transit; changing zoning codes that keep bars away from homes and require them to have ample parking; and focusing enforcement on dangerous areas (like where pedestrians are close to cars) instead of interstate highways.

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