Vanderbilt Law Review


J. M. Boyd Jr.

First Page



In 1953, 18 out of every 100 drivers involved in fatal accidents had been drinking. By 1954, the figure had risen to 20 out of every 100.'These figures, limited as they are, indicate a trend--the increasing rate of drinking drivers--which has caused deep concern to safety and law enforcement officials for several years. The figures also indicate the scope to which the problem has already grown--to the point that one out of every five drivers involved in a fatal accident has been drinking.

With the growing incidence of the offense, the need for a better understanding of the laws relating to the problem has arisen. Since all 48 states and the District of Columbia have statutes prohibiting this behavior, this note will review the legal aspects of the problem and compare the statutes and the statutory interpretations of the various states.

Three questions will be considered here:

(1) What constitutes "operation" or "driving" under the various statutes? (2) What vehicles these statutes seek to regulate? (3) What physical locations are covered by the restrictions? The legal aspects of drunkenness have been covered in numerous articles, and will not be discussed here.

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