|1. Report No.
DOT HS 809 426
|2. Government Accession No.
|3. Recipient's Catalog No.
|4. Title and Subtitle
Open Container Laws and Alcohol Involved Crashes: Some Preliminary
|5. Report Date
|6. Performing Organization
Jack Stuster, PhD; Marcelline Burns, PhD; and Dary Fiorentino,
|8. Performing Organization
| 9. Performing
Organization Name and Address
Anacapa Sciences, Inc.
P.O. Box 519
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
|10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
|11. Contract or Grant No.
| 12. Sponsoring
Agency Name and Address
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
|13. Type of Report and Period
NHTSA Technical Report
|14. Sponsoring Agency Code
|15. Supplementary Notes
Paul J. Tremont, PhD was the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative
(COTR) for this project.
This report presents the results of a study conducted for the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to assess the highway
safety effects of laws that prohibit open containers of alcoholic
beverages to be located in the passenger compartment of motor vehicles
operated on public roadways. These laws are commonly referred to
as “Open Container Laws.” The Transportation Equity Act for the
21st Century (TEA-21), H.R. 2400, P.L. 105-178, was passed by the
Senate and the House of Representatives on 22 May 1998, signed into
law on 9 June 1998, and amended by a technical corrections bill,
entitled the TEA-21 Restoration Act, P.L. 105-206, on 22 July 1998.
The TEA-21 Restoration Act established a program to encourage states
to enact and enforce open container laws that conform to a Federal
Standard. States without conforming Open Container laws are subject
to a transfer of highway construction funds.
Four states passed legislation in 1999 in response to the TEA-21
Restoration Act (Iowa, Maine, Rhode Island, and South Dakota).
Analyses indicated that three of the four states appeared to decline
in their proportions of alcohol-involved fatal crashes during the
first six months after enforcement of the conforming laws; however,
the declines were not statistically significant.
In addition to the before and after analyses, crash data (from
1999) were compared among states that have had fully-conforming
laws since the enactment of the TEA-21 Restoration Act on July 22,
1998; states that enacted fully-conforming laws as of October 1,
2000, the date on which the first transfer of funds took effect;
states that had partially-conforming laws as of October 1, 2000;
and, states that had no Open Container laws at all, as of October
1, 2000. This analysis showed that states without Open Container
Laws experienced significantly greater proportions of alcohol-involved
fatal crashes than states with partially-conforming or fully-conforming
laws. Also, it was noted that survey data show support for Open
Container laws by a substantial majority of the general public,
even in states without such laws.
|17. Key Words
Traffic Safety, Transportation Equity Act, TEA-21, Open Container
Law, Alcohol, DWI, DUI
|18. Distribution Statement
This document is available to the public from National Technical
Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22160.
|19. Security Classif. (of this report)
|20. Security Classif. (of this page)
|21. No. of Pages