Diffusion of impaired driving laws among US states

James Macinko, Diana Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. We examined internal and external determinants of state's adoption of impaired driving laws. Methods. Data included 7 state-level, evidence-based public health laws collected from 1980 to 2010. We used event history analyses to identify predictors of first-time law adoption and subsequent adoption between state pairs. The independent variables were internal state factors, including the political environment, legislative professionalism, government capacity, state resources, legislative history, and policy-specific risk factors. The external factors were neighboring states' history of law adoption and changes in federal law. Results. We found a strong secular trend toward an increased number of laws over time. The proportion of younger drivers and the presence of a neighboring state with similar laws were the strongest predictors of first-time law adoption. The predictors of subsequent law adoption included neighbor state adoption and previous legislative action. Alcohol laws were negatively associated with first-time adoption of impaired driving laws, suggesting substitution effects among policy choices. Conclusions. Organizations seeking to stimulate state policy changes may need to craft strategies that engage external actors, such as neighboring states, in addition to mobilizing within-state constituencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1900
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion of impaired driving laws among US states'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this