Law enforcement managers have come to realize that a range of organizational and operational innovations can have a significant impact on juvenile impaired driving (driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; commonly termed DUI). Progressive law enforcement executives understand that to be effective, they must confront this problem on two fronts. First, the enforcement of impaired-driving laws must remain the primary objective, with the rest of the criminal and juvenile justice systems backing up the police use of the arrest sanction. Second, it is necessary to educate juveniles and their families on the dangers of impaired driving, with one of the educational messages being the probability of arrest and its consequences.
Research efforts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and others have uncovered a number of innovative approaches that are currently being implemented by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, juvenile courts, and prevention and treatment agencies. The most successful programs have at their core a leadership (policy oversight) council or a coordinating task force that is the vehicle by which all the necessary disciplines come together to achieve a common purpose. Through the diligent work of the policy groups and task forces, new initiatives have been developed in enforcement, prevention, public education, adjudication, and treatment of the underlying problems of the juvenile offender.
The initiatives discussed in this document were identified by Preusser Research Group through telephone surveys, supplemented by PERF member information and self-reporting of promising results by the named agencies or organizations. Many examples were derived from the experiences of police departments in five juvenile DUI enforcement demonstration sites: Albany County, New York (in cooperation with the New York State Police); Astoria, Oregon; Hampton, Virginia; Phoenix, Arizona; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The criteria for selection of these programs were innovative characteristics and evidence that the initiative worked, according to self-reported data and other information. Because validation of success depends on a formal evaluation of each program, the separate initiatives are treated as promising (as distinct from empirically validated) parts of a local strategy. The following numbered headings list components believed to be necessary for an effective anti-DUI program. The initiatives listed under each component are offered as examples only and are not to be considered the universe of all possible initiatives that could work in that component.