Objective To model rates of 0.08 g/dL blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per se law implementation among the states associated with (1) a federal incentive grant programme and (2) a threat from the federal government to withhold highway transportation funds.
Methods An observational study of state-level 0.08 g/dL BAC per se law enactment among all 50 US states from 1982 to 2006 using a parametric survival analysis to assess the time-dependent risk of policy enactment.
Results The federal government's threat to withhold transportation funds was associated with a 10.30 times greater hazard (HR: 10.30, 95% CI 3.88 to 27.36) of states adopting a 0.08 g/dL BAC law compared with periods of time when this threat was not in place. The incentive grant programme created by the federal government was associated with a non-significant 17% decrease in the hazard of states adopting a 0.08 g/dL BAC law (HR: 0.83, 95% CI 0.35 to 2.0).
Conclusion In the case of 0.08 g/dL BAC per se laws, the federal government's threat to withhold transportation funds was effective at accelerating policy adoption.
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Contributors GJT conceptualised the study, acquired the data, performed the analysis, interpreted the results and led drafting of the manuscript. JSV helped conceptualise and design the study, interpreted the results and helped draft the manuscript. EAS helped with statistical analysis, interpreted the data and provided critical review and edits for the manuscript. DWW helped conceptualise and design the study, interpreted the results and provided critical review and edits for the manuscript. ACG helped conceptualise the study, interpreted the results and provided critical review and edits for the manuscript.
Funding This study was supported by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Sommer Scholars Program).
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.