Voas, R. B.
; Tippetts, A. Scott
; and Taylor, Eileen P. Journal of Safety Research
, vol. 33, pgs. 73-80 (2002)Lowering state blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits to .08, though controversial, has been supported by most evaluation studies to date. The Illinois.08 BAC law implemented in 1997 provided a unique opportunity to evaluate the effect of the law without the simultaneous passage of an administrative license revocation (ALR) law, which has clouded some previous evaluations of the .08 laws. The proportion of all drinking drivers in fatal crashes was compared before versus after implementing the .08 law using time series analysis to evaluate 12 years of fatal crash data for Illinois and five bordering states. The results showed that the proportion of drinking drivers in fatal crashes decreased by 14% in Illinois and increased by 3% in bordering states. The proportion of drinking drivers in fatal crashes in Illinois, though increasing since 1995, was sharply reduced after passage of the .08 law in 1997, saving more than 100 lives in 1998 and 1999 than it would have without the .08 law.