No Correlation Between Checkpoints and Driving Fatalities?


That's what MADD's own statistics suggest, according to the new (to me) DUI Blog, a website that chronicles "Bad Drunk Driving Laws, False Evidence and a Fading Constitution."

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  1. Wow, Mr. Welch, you find some good stuff. I love it when the conventional wisdom gets slammed.

  2. That’s IT! I joining D.A.M.M.
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers

    Hey Joe,
    get me one for my baby,
    And one more for the road.

  3. That should have said

    So Set em up Joe.

    I must have been thinking about
    Hey Joe, where you going with that
    Highball in your hand?

  4. I think I said this before. All checkpoints do is make sidestreets less safe at night.

    There were DUI checkpoints right outside my college campus almost monthly. Driving through the middle of your dorm courtyard to get home is no picnic, let me tell you. But it beats jailtime.

  5. First off, the state comparison is meaningless, as the drunk driving rate is much more dependent on other factors, such as drinking rates, etc.

    But clearly this is just a way to get more money from the government, since the problem with all failing programs is just that we do not provide enough support to it. Right?

  6. CHECKPOINTS!!! Oh geezus fucking eh kryste. More proof that all the justices on the SCOTUS are illiterate.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


    Effectiveness aint even the fricken point. God, I need a drink.

  7. This so-called ‘analysis’ is anything but. One would need to run a regressiona to control for vehicles per capita, state population, bar closing times, number of registered cars etc etc

    The DUI Blog neither proves nor disproves anything.

  8. Earlier commenters are correct that while
    provactive, this analysis would not last
    long in an economics seminar. In addition
    to the omitted variable problems already
    mentioned, there is the issue of reverse
    causality – states may adopt checkpoints
    because they have high levels of drunk

    A similar analysis using cross-sectional
    variation at the state level can be used
    to show that higher state levels of TANF
    payments to single mothers “cause” low
    rates of single parenthood, because low
    benefit states like Alabama have much
    higher rates of single parenthood than
    high benefit states like Wisconsin.

    Jeff Smith

  9. Sociologist Joseph R Gusfield has long had the scoop on the drinking-driving meme

    _The Culture of Public Problems : Drinking-Driving and the Symbolic Order_ (1981 U Chicago)

    _Contested Meanings : The Construction of Alcohol Problems_ (1996 U Wisc)

    on how a “public problem” is created and ownership of it is taken.

    My late friend F.T.Grampp was onto MADD early on : “If it weren’t for the drunks, most of them wouldn’t be mothers.”

  10. If the statistics are insufficient to “prove” that checkpoints are ineffective, then I suppose they are equally insufficient to “prove” that they work.

    So we have a highly intrusive police measure that can’t be shown to make anyone safer. This helps the MADDers how, exactly?

  11. Didn’t see an “R-squared” mentioned anywhere — so no ‘correlation’ to effectively speak about. Not to mention that old statistics adage: correlation is not causation

    (it might/can be but should not be taked as such naively)

  12. “R-squared”: good to check for spurious correlation, too!

    “then I suppose they are equally insufficient to “prove” that they work.”

    not necessarily. try stacking some panel data and switch the “individual” with “period” and run – you’ll see that it doesn’t really work like that.

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