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Open Container Policy: Designated Driver

QUESTION: INSTRUCTIONS

    • Write a paper based on Current Public Policy Analysis Part I from Week Five.

        • Identify possible alternatives to the public policy you evaluated in Current Public Policy Analysis Part I.
        • Choose one of the possible alternatives to the current public policy, and develop a new policy upon it. Provide rationale for your choice.
        • Use policy models and methods of analyses covered in the course to develop the new policy.

Policy-Designated Driver (Open Container)

ANSWER: RESPONSE

Designated Driver (Open Container)

The Open Container Law states that it is illegal to possess any open containers of alcohol i.e. beer, wine, or liquor, in one’s vehicle whether it is parked or in motion. This policy also prohibits the passengers with the exception of those in limousines; who are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages in the passenger area. Nonetheless, there are other more suitable policies that would adequately be utilized in the reduction of the severity of drinking and driving fatality rates thus promote safety on roads. They include: National Minimum Drinking Age Act, Driving under the Influence (DUI), and Sobriety Checkpoints.

Sobriety checkpoints refer to randomly located police stops with the primary purpose of checking for impaired drivers (Leduc, 2008). There is consistent and significant evidence that the numerous sobriety checkpoints located in the various regions in America would greatly reduce impaired driving fatal crashes by 24%. This can be achieved by the provision of publications, funds, equipment, human resource and the officers’ overtime expenses. Some of the primary devices utilized in this operation are known as random breath-test (RBT) programs and passive alcohol sensors (“PASpoints”). The latter involves the convergence of a minute group of officers on traffic patrol duty on a present site with the aim of conducting a mini-checkpoint, and later on resume their standard duties (Leduc, 2008). This would guarantee that it becomes a basic operation, especially in relation to DUI regulatory techniques and hence be covered under the normal enforcement budget.

The preferred policy model utilized in developing this law is the rational choice approach. This involves the selection of the appropriate policy alternative based on efficiency maximization. The benefits are measured in regards to the economic, social, and political values attained. The significant importance and need for this policy would be the decrease in number of individuals who engage in these behaviors due to the fear of getting apprehended.  Consequently, this would result in a decreased number of drunk driving related accidents.

 

References

Leduc, J. (2008). Open container laws. [Hartford]: [Connecticut General Assembly, Office of Legislative Research].

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