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Study Shows Increase in Alcohol Tax Leads to Decrease in Drunk Driving Deaths

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Illinios injury attorney , Illinois car crash lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney,According to the most recent statistics, drunk driving crashes in America kill more than 10,000 people every year and leave more than a half million others injured. However, a new study has found that when alcohol taxes are increased, drunk driving deaths are decreased.

The study, “Effects of a 2009 Illinois Alcohol Tax Increase on Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes,” was conducted by researchers from the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Institute for Child Health Policy, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. It was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study used statistics from the state of Illinois, which raised the alcohol tax in 2009. The tax on beer was raised by 4.6 cents per gallon, 66 cents per gallon on wine, and $4.05 per gallon on distilled spirts. The team looked at accident data from the previous 104 months before the tax was enacted and then the 28 months following its institution. This data was gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For the study, researchers classified a drunk driver as one who had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or less. An extremely intoxicated driver was one who had a blood alcohol level greater than 0.15. The average adult would need to consume approximately six alcoholic drinks to reach this level.

The results were that Illinois drunk driving deaths decreased by 26 percent. The decline for younger drivers was even more – 37 percent. The number of crashes – which did not involve fatalities – also saw a decrease. For drunk drivers, the decrease was 22 percent and for extremely drunk drivers the decrease was 25 percent.

In order to take into account other issues which may have contributed to the decline in the numbers, such as economic factors, weather conditions, or traffic programs, the study also examined the numbers of fatal drunk driving crashes which occurred in Wisconsin during the same time period. Wisconsin had no change in the amount of their alcohol tax. The numbers from Wisconsin confirmed that the only factor accounting for the decrease in Illinois was the tax increase.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, contact an experienced Lake County injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against that driver. Call the attorneys at Salvi & Maher, P.C. today at 847-662-3303.

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