The literature on DUI interventions, on the one hand, and youth alcohol use, on the other, represents one of the most extensive and fastest-growing collections in the public safety arena. What really stands out is that most of that literature points to successful interventions that saved lives and reduced injuries.
What is less understood is the mixture of leadership and commitment among non-police officials, whose support and direction appear to be critical to positive results. After investing a considerable amount of resources in finding out what works, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to collaborate with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in a joint effort to put all of this together. What emerged is a fairly pared-down list of elements, or major components, that are designed to be implemented together. When they are used that way, they reinforce each other. For example, prosecutors and the courts must support police initiatives, and the community must support police use of arrest and other punitive sanctions.
Without some overarching policy machinery to refine the different components and decide how they will be implemented in the community, the program cannot be truly comprehensive. Nor can its full impact be brought to bear against the deadly peril of impaired driving by youth.
The comprehensive program that is detailed in these pages benefits from the extra impact of combined, cooperative efforts. We believe that the program, which has now been implemented and validated in five bellwether communities, holds out great promise to other localities that want to effect similar reductions in deaths, injuries, and automobile crashes due to juvenile drivers who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs. To help the reader understand the philosophy behind this approach, we have presented options for specific enforcement and other efforts that have shown demonstrated results.
It is our hope that communities throughout the nation will pick up the comprehensive Juvenile DUI Enforcement Program and realize both the amount of hard work and planning necessary for its implementation and the positive benefit of lives saved as a result.
Clifford L. Karchmer
Police Executive Research Forum