Policy Oversight and Coordination
Community-Based DUI Policy Group
The policy group is expected to develop and oversee the administration of the juvenile DUI enforcement program. The ideal local group should provide a forum in which members of the criminal and juvenile justice systems convene regularly to discuss project-related problems, exchange information, review new laws and court decisions, and design and develop a comprehensive public education campaign based on arrest. Finally, the policy group should provide a friendly environment in which law enforcement and the judiciary can discuss enforcement problems and potential solutions.
Policy groups should include at least the following justice system core members: state and local police, prosecutors, criminal and juvenile court judges, probation officers, and intake and detention personnel. Optional but recommended representatives would be treatment agencies, school officials, local business leaders, and public interest groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and other prevention-oriented partnerships (such as those funded by the federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, and other grant programs).
The most successful programs examined under this project had at their core a community-based DUI policy group. The establishment of such a group sends a positive message throughout the community that impaired driving, particularly by local youths, will not be tolerated. Additionally, the policy group becomes the means by which a comprehensive and unified approach to the problem can be developed. Without such a group, each organization with an interest in the DUI problem generally implements its own countermeasures according to its own agenda, without regard to their impact on the rest of the criminal and juvenile justice systems. This results in selective enforcement and fragmented services for the offender and prevents truly comprehensive remedial programs from developing. By contrast, the cooperation fostered by the policy group offers citizens an opportunity to change community values regarding impaired driving rather than just reacting to problems and tragedies as they occur. See Chapter 2, “Policy Oversight and Coordination,” in the companion document, Part III: Support Tools for Building Programs That Work, for a detailed example of policy group process and achievements.