This paper empirically analyzes the effects of drunk driving policies. Since 2008, the government has revised criminal law 185-3 and article 35 of Road Traffic Management and Punishment Regulations, aiming to eliminate drunk driving events by increasing criminal and administrative punishments for drunk driving. Based on the 2008-2020 Investigation Report of Traffic Accidents
from the National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior, we assessed the effectiveness of the multiple amendments to the drunk driving policies in reducing drunk drivers and alcohol-related casualties. Taking the drunk driving ratio from 2008 to early December 2011 as the control group, we found
that the three subsequent amendments of drunk driving policies until June 2020 did cumulatively reduce the probability of drunk driving by 70%. The distribution curve of the BrAC value of drunk drivers who took the alcohol test also shifted to the left; in other words, drunk drivers drink less in response to severe punishments. The three subsequent amendments to the drunk driving policies also reduced the alcohol-related mortality by 2,498 deaths but did not significantly reduce the overall number of injured. A plausible reason might be that the increase of low/middle BrAC drivers may cause a rise in injuries, but it offsets the reduced injuries associated with fewer high BrAC drivers. The new policies did not wholly persuade the drivers to separate the “drinking” and “driving” and achieve the goal of “do not drink and drive.” Our results offer policy implications for further deterrence of drunk driving.