In its broadest sense, deterrence means simply the threat of negative sanctions or incentives for behaviour—a form of negative persuasion. Criminal laws deter in two ways: by general deterrence, which is the effect of the law in preventing a prohibited behaviour in the population as a whole, and specific deterrence, which is the effect of the law in discouraging those who have been caught from doing it again. (11) A law tends to have a greater preventive effect and to be cheaper to administer to the extent it has a strong general deterrence effect.

Prohibitions on driving after drinking more than a specified amount are now in effect in most nations. ^l2 In many societies there have also been laws against public drunkenness (being in a public place while intoxicated), and against obnoxious behaviour while intoxicated. Other common prohibitions are concerned with producing or selling alcoholic beverages outside state-regulated channels, and with aspects of drinking under a specified minimum age.

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