NJ.com reports a new study conducted at New York University, found that New Jersey has a significantly lower alcohol related death rate than New York and Pennsylvania, even though all three states have very similar DWI laws. All three have a zero tolerance law in which impaired drivers under 21 lose their license, an open-container ban, minimum drinking age of 21, and a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08.

Experts say the possible factor for the difference can vary because of the levels of DWI enforcement and education. “It may be there is more attention to enforcing those laws in New Jersey,” said Diana, professor of public health at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. In New Jersey, 26.9 percent of highway fatalities were alcohol related, compared to 30.4 percent in New York and 30.6 in Pennsylvania.

Pam Fischer, a former director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, concurred. In addition to “very strong enforcement” measures by municipal, county and state police, Fischer said programs including Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and Student Against Destructive Decisions, or S.A.D.D., has been active throughout the state, instilling lasting anti-drunk driving attitudes in young drivers.

I think we’ve done a very good job in our state of educating young people on this issue,” Fischer said. For more on the study on how and why states adopt drunken driving laws, click here.

The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.