Consequences of underage drinking fact sheet
Greater risk for our children .Alcohol
is number one abused drug in the country,
warning label on alcohol clear?
- Open container laws save lives.
States with open container laws had significantly fewer drunk
driving fatalities than those without (41.8% of fatalities were
alcohol-related in states without open container laws, compared
with 37% in states with federally compliant laws).
Another study found a 5.1% decrease in fatal crash rates because
of open container laws.
A third found that open container laws had a significant deterrent
effect against driving under the influence for both drinkers in
general and for heavy drinkers.
- Open container laws reduce hit-and-run
crashes. Impaired drivers often flee the scene of an accident
to conceal their intoxication. Maine, South Dakota, and Rhode
Island all found a significant decrease in hit-and-run crashes
after enacting a federally compliant open container law.
- Open container laws can help deter
drinking drivers. When properly publicized, knowledge of an
open container law could prevent someone from drinking while in
the automobile. Primary enforcement is particularly important
here; the message needs to be if you are seen drinking while
driving, you can be pulled over for that alone.
- The public supports open container laws.
Eighty-three percent of people in states without an open container
law said that they would support such a law in their state.
- Open container laws helps keep federal
highway funds flexible. If a state hasn’t enacted a federally
compliant open container law by October 1, 2002, they are subject
to having three percent of their state’s federal highway funds
transferred specifically to combat DUIs. If the state does have a
law in place, all of the funding is free to be used how the state