Do Blue Laws Save Lives

Decent Essays
I chose to write about “Do Blue Laws Save Lives? The Effect of Sunday Alcohol Sales Bans on Fatal Vehicle Accidents” by Michael F. Lovenheim and Daniel P. Steefel, which featured in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management in Fall of 2011. I chose this article because it relates to my paper topic as it looks at the relationship between a specific law and fatalities as a result of drunk driving. In addition, I also found the topic to be interesting as it looks as it essentially analyzes the effect of a law that has archaic origins to see if it is applicable in the modern day. Finally, I thought that this paper sheds light on possible solutions to the drunk driving issue.
In this paper, the authors the authors try to demonstrate that despite
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It is important to note that when the authors analyzed data from this source they did not separate fatal accidents involving drunk driving from accidents that did not pertain to drunk driving as to minimize the influence of outside factors like the bias of a police officer. The authors then used this data to look at trends in fatal accident rates on both Sunday’s and weekdays in states that either repealed their blue laws between 1900 and 2009, states that still had blue laws during that time period and states that either never had blue laws or repealed prior to 1990. Upon looking at these trends, the authors did not discover any major changes in the fatal accident rates on Sunday in states that repealed their Blue laws. The only notable evidence to support a claim that the repeal of Blue laws leads to more fatal accidents on Sunday was the fact that in repeal states Sunday crash rates “remained constant until 2006” while their weekday fatal accident crash rates had decreased in the late 1990’s (2011, 807-8). Yet this does not suggest that the repeal of Blue laws caused this as the same relative trend occurred in states that never had Blue laws which signifies that the trend was not caused by the repeal of Blue laws. Additionally, in repeal states their fatal accident rates on both Sunday and on weekdays had a general downward trend with the only difference being that the weekdays fatal accident rate decreased at a slightly stronger rate. This led the authors to conclude that Blue laws have “at most a small effect on fatal accidents” as there were no significant changes in the fatal accident rates to support that claim (2011, 808). Finally, the authors used the same data set to demonstrate that the repealing of Blue laws did not have any significant effect on the fatal accident rates
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