Mar

27

 Hello everyone,

In Ohio when you get a DUI you have to turn in your plates and pay for dark yellow DUI plates for a year.

On rare occasion I would see a set on a car. Lately I have seen many more in my area.

A sign that more drink and drive or a tie to a troubled economy?

Or is law enforcement more aggressive?

Regards,

Alan

Mark Schuetz writes:

Alan,

I find this very interesting. I grew up in Ohio, but have been in NYC for about the past 7 years. Even when visiting (about once or twice a year) I have never seen these plates before. Drunk driving was a huge problem in the community I grew up in, and from the news I get now, it sounds like it still is. However, I imagine Ohio as a state sits somewhere near the national average as far as fatalities and arrests.

As far as your questions, there are numerous studies about drinking habits as the economy is better or worse. Most are about substitute goods (most notable example is substituting beer for wine in bad times) or about the relative resilience of sales of alcohol during recessions (One example: "Drinking Habits Steady During Recession" and a contradiction). Beyond that, I cannot think of any economic logic underlying a correlation between a healthy economy and drunk driving habits. Law enforcement may be more aggressive, especially because in certain communities it has become such a problem. However the question is: is the purpose of the yellow plate to warn other drivers? Or some kind of deterrence (public shaming?).

Though I have lost friends to drunk driving and see it as a real problem, I'm not sure exactly what the yellow plates would do. Those who go to the bar then get in their vehicle probably don't have the fear of yellow license plates in the back of their mind. It seems it would make more sense to deal with reality (people are going to drink no matter what) while coming up with a preventative solution (better public transportation, or possibly a private service that provides affordable 24hr transportation).


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