Could Making Alcohol Pricier Help Lower DUI Accident Rates?
A new study provides some evidence that increasing taxes on alcohol and making it more expensive, could help minimize the incidence of dangerous alcohol-related leaders, including drunk driving. In fact, the study found that not only did such dangerous behaviors decrease when alcohol became more expensive, but it also reduced drunk driving accident, injury and fatality rates.
The review was conducted by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, which consists of public-health experts appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The review included a total of 72 studies worldwide, and in nearly all of the 72 studies, researchers found an inverse relationship between the cost of alcohol and the indices of dangerous alcohol-related excesses, including binge drinking and drunk driving. The review included studies of underage drinkers, and these studies also showed that when alcohol becomes more expensive, it lowers rates of underage drinking. The results seem to be consistent among all kinds of liquor, from wine to beer, and also across time periods and countries.
The Task Force and Community Preventive Services says that more research is needed to compare the benefits of increasing taxes on selective alcohol beverages, and increasing taxes on all alcohol beverages at once.
These are interesting results, although it’s hard for Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers to imagine that much progress can be made in increasing the cost of alcohol without opposition from the beverage industry and other vested interests. The beverage industry has a solid track record of opposing any kind of measures that could possibly impact sales, even if these measures promote public health and safety. For the time being, anti-drunk driving efforts will have to include other interventions like ignition interlock devices and sobriety checkpoints.