Drunk Driving: Leaving the Scene

Leaving the Scene

Strict laws against drunk driving may be causing an unwanted side effect. A new study by Purdue University researchers shows that after Ohio instituted a tough drunk-driving law making it more likely for offenders to be jailed and have their licenses suspended, the number of alcohol-related accidents fell by 20%. But at the same time, the number of hit-and-run incidents caused by intoxicated drivers rose by 8%. "The higher the penalty for drunk driving," says Purdue Economist John Umbeck, a coauthor of the report, "the more there is to gain by leaving the scene."

The study, which analyzed 500,000 accidents in...

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