Author Suzanne Briscoe
Published September 2004
Report Type Affiliated publication
Subject Alcohol; Driving offences; Sentencing; Evaluation reports
Keywords Deterrence, Statutory penalties, Punishment, Drink-driving, Road accidents, legislative evaluation

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The rate of road accidents per 100,000 vehicles registered was examined before and after the statutory penalties for drink-driving offences were doubled in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Interrupted time-series analyses found significant increases in three non-fatal accident series after the implementation of the new penalties. The observed increase in the rate of single-vehicle night-time accidents, the accident category most likely to be alcohol-related, was not expected and runs contrary to the anticipated deterrent effect of the new laws. The failure of this policy to have an impact on aggregate-level road accident rates is discussed.