Page last updated:February 17, 2014
Relationship of impaired-driving enforcement intensity to drinking and driving on the roads

A paper published in The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research argues that enforcement offers the greatest opportunity for reducing alcoholimpaired driving in the near future. The paper explores how much of a reduction in drinking and driving would be achieved by an improvement in enforcement intensity.

Logistic regression models were developed to explore how enforcement intensity (6 different measures) related to the prevalence of weekend nighttime drivers in the 2007 National Roadside Survey who had been drinking (blood alcohol concentration [BAC] >/= 0.00 g/dl), who had BACs >/= 0.05 g/dl, and who were driving with an illegal BAC >/= 0.08 g/dl. Drivers on the roads in the sample of 30 communities were exposed to fewer than 228 traffic stops per 10,000 population aged 18 and older. They had 2.4 times the odds of being BAC positive, 3.6 times the odds of driving with a BAC >/= 0.05, and 3.8 times the odds of driving with a BAC >/= 0.08 compared to those drivers on the roads in communities with more than 1,275 traffic stops per 10,000 population.

Drivers on the roads in communities with fewer than 3.7 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests per 10,000 population had 2.7 times the odds of BAC-positive drivers on the roads compared to communities with the highest intensity of DUI arrest activity (>38 DUI arrests per 10,000 population). The number of traffic stops and DUI arrests per capita were significantly associated with the odds of drinking and driving on the roads in these communities. This might reflect traffic enforcement visibility. The findings in this study may help law enforcement agencies around the country adjust their traffic enforcement intensity to reduce impaired driving in their community say the authors.

Source: Relationship of impaired-driving enforcement intensity to drinking and driving on the roads. Fell JC; Waehrer G; Voas RB; Auld Owens A; Carr K; Pell K. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Dec 16.

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