The Juvenile DUI Enforcement Program
Motor vehicle crashes are the number-one killer of teenagers and other young adults (Vital Statistics Mortality Data, 1994, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Over 35 percent of motor vehicle fatalities of people 15 to 20 years of age are alcohol related. These tragedies have shaken nearly every community in the country.
Faced with the dramatic and deadly problem of juvenile impaired driving, police executives and their communities are struggling to shape a response. Education and other prevention-oriented programs implemented in the schools yield only limited results. Juvenile arrestees, undeterred by their sanctions and the potential consequences of their actions, continue to drive after consuming alcohol. Without an integrated, coordinated local strategy, communities soon learn that the individual decisions made by police, prosecutors, and judges are often inconsistent and can be ineffective.
The Juvenile DUI Enforcement Program, jointly sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was created to unify the various elements of anti-DUI enforcement in a single, comprehensive framework. The program represents a blueprint for action: a set of instructions and resources for a local, system-wide response to juvenile impaired driving due to alcohol and other drugs. The program goes beyond the traditional police response to DUI by linking enforcement efforts with public education, prosecution, adjudication, and treatment. Rather than just responding to events as they occur, the program helps communities get ahead of the curve to reduce juvenile drug- and alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
The Juvenile DUI Enforcement Program was implemented in five demonstration sites: Albany County, New York; Astoria, Oregon; Hampton, Virginia; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The information presented in this publication is based on the experiences and reflections of officials in those sites. With the help of a comprehensive program, the sites were able to present a more unified, aggressive, and proactive response to juvenile DUI. Their successes may be replicated and improved on in other jurisdictions.