Citizen Reporting of DUI- Extra Eyes to Identify Impaired Driving

Patrol Officer Survey Results

In the fall of 2005, the Montgomery County Police Department administered a paper-and-pencil survey (developed by PIRE) to all patrol officers. There are approximately 1,099 sworn officers in Montgomery County. Of these, 200 are trained as Alcohol Enforcement Specialists (AES). Survey participation was voluntary and anonymous. The intent of the survey was to determine the awareness of, involvement with, and support for the Extra Eyes program. This five-minute survey included 15 items similar to those asked during the interviews with program participants. These items asked about involvement with the Extra Eyes program, experiences with the program, level of satisfaction, and perceived level of effectiveness (see Appendix C).

Analysis

We analyzed the data from both the interviews and the surveys to determine the extent of officers’ involvement in and support for the Extra Eyes program. Descriptive analysis of the survey results were prepared to illustrate general officers’ awareness and involvement in the Extra Eyes program. Additionally, participants reported effectiveness of the program as well as perceived program value.

Results

We received 35 surveys from patrol and traffic squad officers from various districts in the county (approximately 3% of the officer population). Among the survey participants, 63 percent (n=22) reported that they participated in the Extra Eyes program. Of those who participated, 91 percent were trained in alcohol enforcement specialization (approximately 10% of all AES officers in the county). Among all participants completing the survey, most (97%) felt that DUI enforcement was important to them.

Among the Extra Eyes survey participants, 14 percent reported that they had only participated once, 36 percent had participated two to four times, and 50 percent had participated five or more times. Further, among all survey participants who participated in the Extra Eyes program, all reported that they had made stops that were attributable to the program, and 91 percent reported that the stop resulted in an arrest or a citation.
When asked which aspects of the Extra Eyes program they considered most valuable, most respondents (91%) reported “Public Awareness about DUI Enforcement” (see Table 8).

Table 8. Valuable Aspects of the Extra Eyes Program

Aspect of Extra Eyes Program

Extra Eyes (n=22*)

Assistance with processing paper work

55% (12)

Assistance identifying suspected impaired drivers

86% (19)

Public awareness about DUI enforcement

91% (20)

Public support for DUI enforcement

86% (19)

* Number of patrol officers who reported to be involved in the Extra Eyes program.


Respondents who indicated they had been involved with the Extra Eyes program also were asked to indicate how adept they felt the Extra Eyes volunteers were in identifying impaired driving and whether the volunteers helped to identify impaired drivers (on a scale of “not at all,” “somewhat,” and “very much”). Table 9 illustrates that most participants (68%) indicated “very much” to how adept volunteers were in identifying impaired drivers, and more than half (59%) responded “helped identify impaired drivers.” Participants also reported that student volunteers were “very much” helpful (36%) and “somewhat” helpful (54%) in assisting with paperwork. Finally, 55 percent of participants indicated the students were “very much” helpful in assisting officers generally.

Table 9. Qualities of Extra Eyes Volunteers

 

Not at all

Somewhat

Very much

Community volunteers adept in identifying impaired drivers

0

32% (7)

68% (15)

Community volunteers helped you identify impaired drivers

5% (1)

36% (8)

59% (13)

Students assisted you with paperwork

9% (2)

55% (12)

36% (8)

Students been useful in assisting you

0

45% (10)

55% (12)


Participants were asked approximately how much media coverage had they seen or heard about on Extra Eyes. Table 10 reports the responses by all survey participants who completed the survey and by survey participants who also are involved in the Extra Eyes program. As can be seen, none of the Extra Eyes respondents indicated they had “never” seen or heard about the program. The majority in both groups indicated “a few times.” Further, none of the participants indicated “negative” media coverage of Extra Eyes (Table 11). The majority indicated the coverage was positive; however, a surprisingly high number (44% by all survey participants and 24% by Extra Eyes survey participants) reported that they did not know if the coverage was positive or negative.

Table 10. Media Coverage on Extra Eyes

 

All Participants
(n=35)

Extra Eyes Only (n=22)

Never

20% (7)

0

A few times

54% (19)

68% (15)

Regularly

14% (5)

23% (5)

Don't know

11% (4)

9% (2)

Table 11. Kind of Media Coverage (n=34)

 

All Participants
(n=34)

Extra Eyes Only
(n=21)

Positive

56% (19)

76% (16)

Negative

0

0

Don't know

44% (15)

24% (5)


A space for comments by participants also was available on the survey form. Virtually all comments received were positive, and generally, participants spoke of how helpful the program was to officers and to raising community awareness regarding DUI. A couple of their comments follow:

Extra Eyes has been a way to involve average citizens in many DUI arrests. It is a great way to get the community involved and raise awareness.”

“I believe it has had a very positive impact. The times that we have used them we have had successful DUI lock-ups.”