The effectiveness of a new law to reduce alcohol-impaired driving in Japan

Takashi Nagata, David Hemenway, Melissa J. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To estimate the impact of a new traffic law targeting alcohol-impaired driving in Japan. Methods: Japan passed a new traffic law in June 2002 with the aim of reducing the incidence of alcohol-impaired driving by reducing the permissible blood alcohol level and increasing penalties. Using data collected from police reports, the number of traffic fatalities and injuries for 7 months in the pre-law period (June 2001 to December 2001) and the same 7 months in the post-law period (June 2002 to December 2002) were compared. Results: Traffic fatalities decreased 7.8% and traffic fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving decreased 26.7% after the introduction of the new traffic law. Traffic fatalities had been falling since 1993, but fell substantially faster after the law was passed. Conclusions: This study indicates that large, immediate public health benefits resulted from the implementation of the 2002 alcohol-impaired driving law in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages5
JournalJapan Medical Association Journal
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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