Prevention Savings of Impaired Driving Measures
Arizona already has many important impaired driving laws. They are saving money and lives. The estimates that follow describe the expected costs and savings, given Arizona’s prices and impaired driving rates. The estimates assume Arizona’s laws achieve average U.S. effectiveness levels.
- Administrative License Revocation: Laws that allow police or driver licensing authorities to revoke a driver’s license swiftly and automatically for refusing or failing a BAC test have reduced alcohol-related fatalities by 6.5% on average and saved an estimated $54,100 per driver sanctioned. The value of the driver’s lost mobility is the large majority of the estimated $2,700 cost per driver sanctioned. Reinstatement fees assessed to offenders typically cover start-up and operating costs.
- Zero Tolerance Law: Laws like Arizona’s that make it illegal for persons under 21 to drive with a positive BAC have reduced impaired-driving fatalities by 4% on average. Per licensed youth driver, these laws cost approximately $30 and yield net savings of $700. Medical care cost savings alone exceed the intervention cost. The primary cost is the value of mobility lost by youth who are forced to reduce their drinking or driving.
- .08 BAC Law: A well-publicized state law lowering driver BAC limits to .08 can potentially reduce alcohol-related fatalities by an average of 7%. On average, Arizona’s .08 law saves an estimated $41 per licensed driver. The value of mobility losses and alcohol sales reductions resulting from the law are the large majority of the estimated $2.90 cost per licensed driver.
- Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA): To reduce alcohol-related fatal crashes among youth, Arizona has adopted a MLDA of 21. It saves an estimated $550 per youthful driver. The loss of liquor sales is the large majority of the $160 cost per youthful driver.
Potential Savings from Further Prevention Efforts
A number of additional strategies can mitigate the harm from impaired driving. The following paragraphs estimate the potential savings, in Arizona’s prices, if other proven impaired driving prevention measures were widely implemented in Arizona.
- Intensive Sobriety Checkpoint Program: Intensive enforcement of Arizona State BAC limits with highly visible sobriety checkpoints would reduce alcohol-related fatalities by at least 15% and save approximately $62,500 per checkpoint. Including police resources, costs of travel delay and the value of mobility losses by impaired drivers apprehended and sanctioned, the costs of conducting a checkpoint average about $8,900.
- Graduated Licensing: Graduated licensing is a three-stage program that involves a learner’s permit, intermediate (provisional) license, and full licensure. In Arizona, savings amount to an estimated $500 per youthful driver. The value of the mobility lost by youth is a large portion of the estimated $70 cost per youthful driver.
- Enforcing Serving Intoxicated Patrons Law: Using undercover police officers to enforce the State law against serving alcohol to intoxicated bar and restaurant patrons would reduce alcohol-related crash fatalities by an estimated 11%. It would cost an estimated $0.30 per licensed driver and save about $20 per licensed driver.
- Server Training: Server training programs provide education and training to servers of alcoholic beverages with the goal of altering their serving practices to prevent patron intoxication and alcohol-impaired driving. Generally, 40% to 60% of intoxicated patrons drive after consuming alcohol in bars, clubs or restaurants. A statewide, full-day, mandatory, face-to-face server training program with active management support has the potential to reduce nighttime DUI injury crashes by 17%. Implementing such a program costs an estimated $70 per licensed driver and saves about $200 in crash costs per licensed driver.