Study Shows Strict DUI Laws Seldom Work

A study conducted at the University of Florida in Gainesville suggests the threat of jail time does not deter drunk drivers. That stems primarily from the fact that most people who drive after drinking do not think they will be stopped for suspicion of DUI.

Researchers, led by Professor Alexander Wagenaar, looked at changes in DUI laws and jail penalties for drunk driving offenses from a 17 year period and compared them against the number of DUI arrests and alcohol related vehicular deaths. They found that stricter laws and harsher penalties do not deter people from drinking and driving. Nor did they reduce the number of alcohol related accidents.

Wagenaar said, “There are many in the general public who continue to drive after drinking because they don’t really believe that they’re going to be detected, pulled over, caught and go through the process to be convicted before a jail term would come into play.”

The study has been published in the Accident Analysis and Prevention section of sciencedirect.com.

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