Youth Impaired Driving Manual for Sheriffs DOT HS - 809214
PART ONE: ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATIONS
General

Problem Identification/Needs Assessment

Resources

Training

General

Young people continue to be one of the fastest growing populations in the country. This fact, coupled with ever-growing evidence that most youths have at least experimented with alcohol - and that binge drinking continues to be a significant problem, means an increase in alcohol-related crashes. Youth alcohol consumption is not a victimless crime. In addition to increased instances of impaired driving, alcohol is a key factor in other juvenile-related crimes.
Problem Identification/Needs Assessment

The importance of conducting a thorough needs assessment, based on factual information, is critical to the formulation of an effective enforcement or intervention program, and the first step in the administrative process. Once the size, scope and nature of the problem are identified, administrators can focus on formulation of a plan. Answers to two questions will jump-start the process and allow you to determine how extensive the youth impaired driving problem is in your community:

• What percentage of fatally injured drivers in your jurisdiction are ages 15-20? ____
• What percentage of your impaired driving arrests are under the age of 21? ____
If the first percentage above is greater than the second, then you definitely have to respond to the following questions:
• Is there a command emphasis on the youthful impaired driving problem in my agency? Yes ___ No ___
• Are impaired driving patrols deployed at key times and locations to detect the youthful offender? Yes ___ No ___
• Do we have an effective strategy for handling large concentrations of alcohol consuming youths? Yes ___ No ___
• Does our agency provide initial and periodic training to maintain or improve youth impaired driving enforcement knowledge and skills? Yes ___ No ___
This is the first step in performing a youth impaired driving needs assessment. If the answers to the second set of questions are predominately no, you have a problem.

The next step in problem identification is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your agency’s traffic and criminal records on youth-related arrests, crashes and any intelligence information on youth activities having a relationship to alcohol and other drugs.Once the analysis is complete, answer the following questions:

• Is there a lack of emphasis on or interest in youth alcohol or drug problems? Yes ___ No ___
•Is there a lack of enforcement activity pertaining to youth impairment? Yes ___ No ___
• If arrested, is there a lack of prosecution or adjudication? Yes ___ No ___
• Is underage purchasing, possession, fake IDs, or stealing of alcohol major problems in my community? Yes ___ No ___
By combining all of the information above you can build a solid foundation for analysis and evaluation of youth alcohol problems in your community. This also gives a snapshot of your agency’s youth impaired driving effort and from here you can take appropriate action.

Finally, review your agency’s policies and procedures to determine what youth impaired driving or alcohol consumption enforcement programs should be conducted. If no policies or procedures exist, establish guidelines, which at a minimum, include purpose; goals and objectives; steps for implementation; operational guidelines; and arrest, detention and notification procedures.

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Resources

The next step in the assessment process is to determine resources - personnel, equipment, and materials needs. Cadets may be used in specific programs and officers with special interests in youth problems and who have some specialized training are best. For example:

Personnel - Select individuals with youth enforcement related experience. If none are available, determine what specialized training is needed.

Equipment - Use unmarked vehicles, cameras, audio-video equipment, buy-money, evidence containers and portable breath testing devices. See Appendix for funding assistance through your State Highway Safety Office.

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Training

Commanders and supervisors in law enforcement agencies with high DUI arrest rates consistently emphasize the importance of training. Special training is particularly important for enforcement of impaired driving among youth. DUI enforcement topics can be included in refresher and roll-call training. When special laws for youth are implemented, officers should receive training in applying the laws. See Appendix A for a list of training courses that are available.

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