Louisiana has lenient laws about drinking alcohol in public. The legal drinking age in Louisiana is 21, but there are plenty of people under the age of 21 that are still drinking alcohol. New Orleans and other cities in Louisiana allow people to take a drink out of the bar; this law permits establishments to sell frozen daiquiris to go. There are other laws that might affect the rate of drunk driving accidents in Louisiana.. A recently published scholarly article shows a correlation between newly instituted bans on smoking in bars and drunk driving accidents. If you were injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact a Louisiana car accident lawyer.
Do Smoking Bans Lead to More DUI Accidents in Houma?
Anne Burton, a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics Department at Harvard University, published a thought-provoking article that suggests that there is a relationship between anti-smoking laws and an increase in drunk driving accidents. The data she studied showed that many cities witnessed an uptick in the number of DUI accidents in the months following the implementation of smoking bans in bars and restaurants. The data came from states that do not have statewide bans on tobacco smoking in bars, states like Louisiana, where rules about smoking in bars vary from one city and one parish to another. For example, New Orleans no longer allows smoking indoors in bars or casinos, but some places do.
According to Burton, local ordinances that ban smoking lead to more drunk driving simply because they make people drive greater distances to and from their bars of choice. Someone who lives within walking distance of Bourbon Street but wants nothing more than to enjoy his cigarettes in the comfort of an indoor seating area at a bar will drive 30 minutes or more to find a place where he can do just that. No amount of Day-Glo daiquiris visible from the street, boozy washaterias, and sidewalk drunken antics will change his mind. People who want to smoke in bars will find a way to do it, even if it means that, after they do, they have to drive a longer distance while their blood alcohol content is past the legal limit.
It also means that all the people on the road are at a higher risk of being hit by someone making the long drive home from a bar that allows smoking. Getting injured by a drunk driver can happen in an instant, but the physical consequences can be long-lasting, and the financial consequences can last even longer.
Contact Patrick Yancey About DUI Car Accident Cases
A car accident lawyer can help you recover the financial security you lost after a drunk driver crashed into your car. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.