State Alcohol Excise Taxes May Have Little Effect on Drunk Driving Fatalities

Brief

State Alcohol Excise Taxes May Have Little Effect on Drunk Driving Fatalities

November 26, 2017

Abstract

In our research, we examine two alcohol excise tax increases enacted by Illinois in 1999 and in 2009. Using the synthetic control method, we find no evidence that either tax increase reduces fatal alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes for the whole of Illinois, although we do find evidence of a significant – if temporary – reduction in the interior counties of Illinois following the 2009 tax increase, possibly because drivers there find it more difficult to avoid the tax increase by crossing state lines.

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Cross-Center Initiative

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