Golf Carts and DUI
Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems
is the most crucial element in combating impaired driving and underage
drinking. It includes a number of strategies, some more subtle than others,
but all are intended to address a specific problem, using those intervention
programs which are best for that situation.
The goals of
all law enforcement operations are simple: to enable law enforcement to
accurately assess the nature and degree of a community’s problem, and to
deter violators through direct enforcement.
directed enforcement strategies targeting areas frequented by underage
drinkers, i.e. parks, fields, beaches, neighborhoods, not necessarily near
Patrols - These patrols are designed to “saturate”
an area with officers in order to send a message to the community. This
high visibility effect is a very good method when coupled with a strong
A “sting” operation
is one of the most direct responses to the problem of underage alcohol
purchase. It actively supports other youth impaired driving enforcement
strategies. Some of the most effective programs are:
Checkpoints - When coupled with a media campaign,
they are highly visible and have proven to be an effective method in removing
impaired drivers from the highways. Frequently, they are done in conjunction
with other law enforcement agencies within a community. Strict guidelines
should be followed in conducting checkpoints.
Patrols - Officers tend to learn of parties
from many sources. The detection and enforcement of these youth alcohol
parties is challenging. Agencies using traditional police response techniques
need to refine their approach.
Stings - These stings send a message of “zero
tolerance” to the community and sales establishments. It targets all retail
outlets and uses a trained underage person as a buyer.
There are many
ways in which law enforcement agencies can work with alcohol retailers
to prevent sales of alcohol to underage persons. Law enforcement agencies
may conduct training sessions to remind retailers and their employees about
their legal and social responsibilities involved in the sale of alcohol
as well as providing updates on issues such as recognizing improper identification
or third-party purchase attempts. Agencies might also send retailers periodic
letters and notices designed to maintain high awareness of the issue.
Stings - This is an often overlooked but growing
problem involving alcohol being delivered to hotels and motels and then
being sold to minors. The goal is to deter retail establishments from delivering
alcohol to underage persons in hotels and motels.
direct enforcement strategies which support zero tolerance policies toward
underage purchase and consumption are:
of Purchase - This operation involves the
use of undercover officers, working with stores or restaurants, to take
appropriate action against underage patrons attempting to purchase alcohol
with false, altered, or no IDs. These are viewed as positive and non-punitive
by owners. Also called “cops in shops," “badges in business," etc.
Sales - This is very effective in deterring
underage youths from approaching adults and asking the adult to purchase
alcohol for them. This strategy involves the use of an undercover officer
posing as a customer of a retail establishment. The officer can then observe
the youth as well as the adult that makes a purchase and take enforcement
action. NHTSA has published excellent resources for law enforcement on
underage drinking enforcement. (see Appendix B)
Dispersal - Responding to party reports or
any complaint of possible underage drinking parties should be referred
to the alcohol enforcement unit or specialist. The initial response should
include careful and cautious planning before action is taken and is essential
to safety and effectiveness. Rather than responding directly to the alleged
party house, surveillance should be initiated. Monitoring of traffic and
appropriate enforcement of alcohol violations for individuals leaving the
party is encouraged to maintain the programs integrity. Controlled dispersal
starts with a briefing to review current policies and development of a
tactical plan. Teams or officers are to be deployed to provide an inner
and outer perimeter. Once entry or contact has been made, the attendees
should be gathered into a secured area so that processing can begin. Processing
should occur in three stages: the administration of a preliminary breath
test and photograph of the subject, processing of citations if issued,
and arranging safe transportation from the party.
Many law enforcement
administrators have come to realize that it is less demanding on their
resources — both personnel and equipment — to develop an educational approach
toward the problem of youth impaired driving. This is not done in disregard
to enforcement. Effective enforcement will always be a necessary deterrent
in any comprehensive program. However, the primary purpose of this document
is to give sheriffs and local law enforcement officials in rural areas
a “Youth Impaired Driving Resource Guide” that presents a comprehensive
approach to education and enforcement.
Carts and DUI Glasses
Simulator Glasses are a specially designed and manufactured pair of goggles
that simulate the visual impairment caused by drugs or alcohol. Viewing
through the goggles is rather clear, but confusing to the mind. Normal
movements are affected which produces one of the effects of intoxication.
Both the wearer and those observing are convinced that such impairment
makes activities with known risks, such as driving vehicles, very dangerous.
National Sheriffs’ Association selected the States of Texas and Washington,
because of their high number of youth/alcohol-related fatalities, to participate
in a pilot-test of a new youth-impaired driving education program. Nine
county sheriffs’ offices agreed to participate in a six-month study. The
program, incorporated the use of golf carts, DUI glasses, high school student-volunteers,
and traffic cones, simulates the effects of alcohol under controlled conditions.
High school student volunteers were video-taped maneuvering the coned course
without the DUI glasses, then re-taped while maneuvering the same course
with the DUI glasses. Both tapes were then shown to an assembly of junior
and senior students. Use of golf carts and DUI glasses afforded an opportunity
to provide a hands-on example for driving age students at the high school
To implement this
program in your agency all you need are golf carts, DUI glasses and traffic
cones. A driving course can be of any shape or design you desire. It is
best to simulate the size of a travel lane as it compares to the width
of the golf cart. A course that is too difficult makes it become unrealistic,
and one too easy may foster a false sense of security. Makeshift stop lights
or signs can be added or any other appropriate bit of stimulus that approximates
what would be encountered on a roadway. The student (with a deputy as passenger)
is allowed to drive the course. Subsequently the student puts on the glasses
and is again asked to navigate the course. Test results indicate a high
level of appeal to the students as it is a first-hand positive experience
instead of a listening message.
schools have been receptive to this approach. The program may be used in
conjunction with an existing “drivers training” class or in whatever manner
your office and the school deem appropriate. Tests have shown that using
the idea in conjunction with “Government” classes gives a dual benefit.
First, the obvious class participation helps educate about the basic problem
of underage drinking and driving. Second, it allows the class to see the
Sheriff’s Office involved in outreach beyond the normal perceived scope
There is some
argument that the glasses do not create the exact conditions of an intoxicated
driver, but they do create visual distortions and equilibrium problems
similar to those caused by intoxication. Further they seem to get the message
across about how difficult it is to operate a motor vehicle with one or
more of these impairments.
recent years a popular and effective trend has been toward school sanctioned
and sponsored alternatives to the more “traditional” after prom and graduation
parties. Local law enforcement can play a positive part in these functions.
Many offer a substantial “door prize” which is awarded at the end of the
function and requires the attendees to have “stayed the course” to be eligible.
Parent/teacher organizations, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Students
Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and community organizations are often
involved and would almost certainly welcome support from the law enforcement
In most jurisdictions
the prom and graduation season can run as long as eight weeks. The public
and private sector can use this window of opportunity to step up their
DUI and alcohol-abuse public awareness campaigns. Local media can play
a pivotal role in both the public awareness and enforcement campaigns,
which should be implemented simultaneously for maximum reinforcement during
this special time in the school year.
Drinking Task Force
cover a wide range of options including education, information, and enforcement.
These can consist of any organizations you choose whose input, funding
or expertise may lend assistance to your agency in combating the youthful
drinking and driving problem. Some choices or considerations are: your
state Alcohol Beverage Control Agency, MADD, SADD, local judiciary, district
or commonwealth attorney, business organizations, school officials, juvenile
probation or court officers, local universities, other local law enforcement
agencies, civic organizations, and local and state legislators.
of an open forum/dialogue with the groups listed above has immense potential
for not only identifying existing problems but in creating partnerships
to develop innovative ways to address them. Whether the goal is intervention,
education or enforcement, the years of experience and insight that can
be put to use by tapping these resources is phenomenal.
Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems
Information Systems and Global Positioning Systems may be a technology
worth exploring. By assigning a geographical locator to youth-impaired
crashes and DUI arrests, violations can be mapped and will give an indication
of where increased enforcement activities should be conducted. Some colleges
and universities are experimenting with or have developed programs which
may lend themselves to assisting you in your problem assessment. Often
approaching them with your interest will result in a cooperative agreement
which can become a “real world” experiment for their students.