Enforcement of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Laws in the United States: A National Survey of State and Local Agencies

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws is an important component of efforts to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities. Little is known about the use of drinking–driving enforcement strategies by state and local law enforcement agencies or whether the use of strategies differs by agency and jurisdiction characteristics. Methods: We conducted two national surveys, with state patrol agencies (n = 48) and with a sample of local law enforcement agencies (n = 1,082) selected according to state and jurisdiction population size. We examined 3 primary enforcement strategies (sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws) and tested whether use of these strategies differed by jurisdiction and agency characteristics across state and local law enforcement agencies Results: Most state patrol agencies reported conducting sobriety checkpoints (72.9%) and saturation patrols (95.8%), whereas less than half (43.8%) reported enforcing open container laws. In contrast, a lower proportion of local law enforcement agencies reported using these alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies (41.5, 62.7, and 41.1%, respectively). Sobriety checkpoint enforcement was more common in states in the dry South region (vs. wet and moderate regions). Among local law enforcement agencies, agencies with a full-time alcohol enforcement officer and agencies located in areas where drinking–driving was perceived to be very common (vs. not/somewhat common) were more likely to conduct multiple types of impaired driving enforcement. Conclusions: Recommended enforcement strategies to detect and prevent alcohol-impaired driving are employed in some jurisdictions and underutilized in others. Future research should explore the relationship of enforcement with drinking and driving behavior and alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2015

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local law
Law Enforcement
Law enforcement
law enforcement
Alcohols
alcohol
Law
jurisdiction
state law
Motor Vehicles
motor vehicle
Containers
Drinking Behavior
traffic behavior
Population Density
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • drink-driving
  • enforcement
  • impaired driving
  • saturation patrols
  • sobriety checkpoints

Cite this

@article{b49722537bbe480ea491d2bb35604078,
title = "Enforcement of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Laws in the United States: A National Survey of State and Local Agencies",
abstract = "Objectives: Enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws is an important component of efforts to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities. Little is known about the use of drinking–driving enforcement strategies by state and local law enforcement agencies or whether the use of strategies differs by agency and jurisdiction characteristics. Methods: We conducted two national surveys, with state patrol agencies (n = 48) and with a sample of local law enforcement agencies (n = 1,082) selected according to state and jurisdiction population size. We examined 3 primary enforcement strategies (sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws) and tested whether use of these strategies differed by jurisdiction and agency characteristics across state and local law enforcement agencies Results: Most state patrol agencies reported conducting sobriety checkpoints (72.9{\%}) and saturation patrols (95.8{\%}), whereas less than half (43.8{\%}) reported enforcing open container laws. In contrast, a lower proportion of local law enforcement agencies reported using these alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies (41.5, 62.7, and 41.1{\%}, respectively). Sobriety checkpoint enforcement was more common in states in the dry South region (vs. wet and moderate regions). Among local law enforcement agencies, agencies with a full-time alcohol enforcement officer and agencies located in areas where drinking–driving was perceived to be very common (vs. not/somewhat common) were more likely to conduct multiple types of impaired driving enforcement. Conclusions: Recommended enforcement strategies to detect and prevent alcohol-impaired driving are employed in some jurisdictions and underutilized in others. Future research should explore the relationship of enforcement with drinking and driving behavior and alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities.",
keywords = "alcohol, drink-driving, enforcement, impaired driving, saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints",
author = "Erickson, {Darin J.} and Kian Farbakhsh and Toomey, {Traci L.} and Lenk, {Kathleen M.} and Rhonda Jones-Webb and Nelson, {Toben F.}",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
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doi = "10.1080/15389588.2014.995789",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Enforcement of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Laws in the United States

T2 - A National Survey of State and Local Agencies

AU - Erickson, Darin J.

AU - Farbakhsh, Kian

AU - Toomey, Traci L.

AU - Lenk, Kathleen M.

AU - Jones-Webb, Rhonda

AU - Nelson, Toben F.

PY - 2015/8/18

Y1 - 2015/8/18

N2 - Objectives: Enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws is an important component of efforts to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities. Little is known about the use of drinking–driving enforcement strategies by state and local law enforcement agencies or whether the use of strategies differs by agency and jurisdiction characteristics. Methods: We conducted two national surveys, with state patrol agencies (n = 48) and with a sample of local law enforcement agencies (n = 1,082) selected according to state and jurisdiction population size. We examined 3 primary enforcement strategies (sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws) and tested whether use of these strategies differed by jurisdiction and agency characteristics across state and local law enforcement agencies Results: Most state patrol agencies reported conducting sobriety checkpoints (72.9%) and saturation patrols (95.8%), whereas less than half (43.8%) reported enforcing open container laws. In contrast, a lower proportion of local law enforcement agencies reported using these alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies (41.5, 62.7, and 41.1%, respectively). Sobriety checkpoint enforcement was more common in states in the dry South region (vs. wet and moderate regions). Among local law enforcement agencies, agencies with a full-time alcohol enforcement officer and agencies located in areas where drinking–driving was perceived to be very common (vs. not/somewhat common) were more likely to conduct multiple types of impaired driving enforcement. Conclusions: Recommended enforcement strategies to detect and prevent alcohol-impaired driving are employed in some jurisdictions and underutilized in others. Future research should explore the relationship of enforcement with drinking and driving behavior and alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities.

AB - Objectives: Enforcement of alcohol-impaired driving laws is an important component of efforts to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities. Little is known about the use of drinking–driving enforcement strategies by state and local law enforcement agencies or whether the use of strategies differs by agency and jurisdiction characteristics. Methods: We conducted two national surveys, with state patrol agencies (n = 48) and with a sample of local law enforcement agencies (n = 1,082) selected according to state and jurisdiction population size. We examined 3 primary enforcement strategies (sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enforcement of open container laws) and tested whether use of these strategies differed by jurisdiction and agency characteristics across state and local law enforcement agencies Results: Most state patrol agencies reported conducting sobriety checkpoints (72.9%) and saturation patrols (95.8%), whereas less than half (43.8%) reported enforcing open container laws. In contrast, a lower proportion of local law enforcement agencies reported using these alcohol-impaired driving enforcement strategies (41.5, 62.7, and 41.1%, respectively). Sobriety checkpoint enforcement was more common in states in the dry South region (vs. wet and moderate regions). Among local law enforcement agencies, agencies with a full-time alcohol enforcement officer and agencies located in areas where drinking–driving was perceived to be very common (vs. not/somewhat common) were more likely to conduct multiple types of impaired driving enforcement. Conclusions: Recommended enforcement strategies to detect and prevent alcohol-impaired driving are employed in some jurisdictions and underutilized in others. Future research should explore the relationship of enforcement with drinking and driving behavior and alcohol-involved motor vehicle fatalities.

KW - alcohol

KW - drink-driving

KW - enforcement

KW - impaired driving

KW - saturation patrols

KW - sobriety checkpoints

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