3. Maximum Age of Passenger: Age 15 and younger (+1) , age 16 and older (+2) 4. Felony Penalty Attaches: Yes (+1) , No (0) 5. Classifies Violation as Child Endangerment/Child Neglect Reporting: Yes (+1) , No (0) 6. Mandatory Child Passenger Minimum Penalty: Yes (+1) , No (0) 7. Penalty Enhancement (whether penalties for first time DUI offenders are increased when a Child was present): Yes (+1) , No (0) 8. Penalty Types: Jail (+1) , Fine (+1) , License Suspension (+1) , Ignition Interlock (+1) , Other (+1) 9. Penalty Increase with Additional Factor: Yes (+1) , No (0) The authors found that at the end of 2012, 42 jurisdictions had a DUI child endangerment law in place; 12 of them enacted over the previous decade. Nine jurisdictions had not passed a DUI child endangerment law (DUI-CE laws, for short). They found a large variation in how these laws were implemented across the states, including penalties and the ages of the children the laws covered. Ultimately, they found there was no clear pattern that emerged between the percent of children killed while riding with a drunk driver by state and the type of law (aggravating, enhancement, separate, two types). Additionally, the strength of the law based on the penalties and provisions listed above also revealed no obvious difference among children killed by drunk drivers across states. Based on this research, panelists Dr. Romano and Dr. Kelley-Baker took a more rigorous examination of the impact DUI-CE laws have had on the rates of children killed by their drinking drivers. To do this, they linked the legal research they conducted with crash data to assess whether the rates of children’s fatalities and injuries reduced after the passing of the DUI-CE law. Table 1 shows that the law has no significant impact on children’s fatality rates, in particular for those children of ages specifically covered by the law. In other words, any changes in fatalities after the law was passed were negligible and were caused not by the passing of the DUI-CE law itself, but by statistical fluctuations.
Percentage of fatally injured children of ages covered by the DUI-CE law killed by a driver with a BAC ≥ .08 g/dl at the time of the crash, before and after law implementation:
BEFORE THE DUI-CE LAW
AFTER THE DUI-CE LAW
12.8% 11.7% Source: Kelley-Baker, T., & Romano, E. (2016). An Examination of the Effectiveness of Child Endangerment Laws in Preventing Child Fatalities in Alcohol-Involved Motor Vehicle Crashes. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77(5), 828–833. http://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2016.77.828
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