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young drivers at very low BACs. The most effective zero tolerance laws are those that allow passive breath testing, are implemented in combination with sobriety checkpoints, involve streamlined administrative procedures, and invoke administrative penalties (e.g., immediate loss of driver’s license). Education and media can significantly increase the effectiveness of zero tolerance laws by increasing awareness of them on the part of young people.

Recommendation 9-9: States should facilitate enforcement of zero tolerance laws in order to increase their deterrent effect. States should:

  • modify existing laws to allow passive breath testing, streamlined administrative procedures, and administrative penalties and

  • implement media campaigns to increase young peoples’ awareness of reduced BAC limits and of enforcement efforts.

Graduated Driver Licensing

Graduated driver licensing places limits on the driving circumstances of new or young drivers, such as restrictions on nighttime driving or driving with young passengers. Graduated driver licensing policies also often include zero tolerance provisions. There is strong evidence that graduated licensing programs are associated with reductions in car crashes (Boase and Tasca, 1998; Langley et al., 1996; Smith, 1986; Ulmer et al., 2000), self-reported drinking and driving (Mann et al., 1997), and alcohol-related crashes (Boase and Tasca, 1998) among young people. Recent evidence, however, suggests that they may have limited effects on alcohol use and alcohol-related crashes, above and beyond that of zero tolerance laws (Shope et al., 2001). Nonetheless, graduated driver licensing may be an important adjunct to zero tolerance laws, for example, by providing cause for stopping young drivers who may be drinking.

Recommendation 9-10: States should enact and enforce graduated driver licensing laws.

Sobriety Check Points and Random Breath Testing

Research strongly suggests that intensive use of sobriety checkpoints or mobile random breath testing can substantially reduce drinking and driving. In the United States, these policies can be implemented only under prescribed circumstances as determined by state laws, often involving pre-notification about when and where they will be instituted. Breath tests at checkpoints can usually be given only if there is probable cause to suspect that a driver has been drinking. Even under these restricted circumstances, there is evidence that sobriety checkpoints can reduce alcohol-related



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