Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine whether reductions in alcohol-related fatal crashes following adoption of 0.08% legal blood alcohol limits were independent of general regional trends.
Methods: The first five states that lowered legal blood alcohol limits to 0.08% were paired with five nearby states that retained a 0.10% legal standard. Within each pair, comparisons were made for the maximum equal available number of pre- and postlaw years.
Results: States adopting 0.08% laws experienced 16% and 18% relative postlaw declines in the proportions of fatal crashes involving fatally injured drivers whose blood alcohol levels were 0.08% or higher and 0.15% or higher.
Conclusions: It all states adopted 0.08% legal blood alcohol limits, at least 500 to 600 fewer fatal crashes would occur annually.