Mandatory jail penalties do not have clearly demonstrable general deterrent or preventive effects (Chaloupka et al., 1993; Legge and Park, 1994; Ruhm, 1996; Sloan and Reilly, 1994; Villaveces et al., 2003; Wagenaar et al., 2007b; Whetten-Goldstein et al., 2000).
Several high-quality studies have evaluated the effects of mandatory minimum jail penalties for first-time DUI offenders. Outcome measures have included traffic fatalities, DUI recidivism, and others, such as self-reported intention to drink and drive. The highest-quality, most comprehensive studies examine mandatory minimum jail penalties across many states over at least several years. Such studies have consistently found that mandatory jail penalties have no significant effects on overall rates of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.