While intuitively one might assume that the severity of drinking and drunk driving incidents would directly affect drunk driving laws, a recent study out of NYU has shown that there are other, stronger predictors that come into play. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, public health researchers from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development took a deep look into the factors that help to develop drunk driving laws across the U.S. While severity of the problem and the state government’s political leaning can certainly affect drunk driving policy, two other predictors proved more impactful: the population of young people within the state, and drunk driving laws of neighboring states.

Researchers compared both internal factors (such as state legislative history, population, alcohol consumption per capita, and political environment) as well as external factors based on neighboring state laws and federal policies. The authors found that “neighboring states’ adoption of laws was quite influential, as was the state’s own history of prior law adoption. Contrary to expectations, the political makeup of the state’s government was not predictive of greater regulation.”

Click here to read the full article for Medical News Today.