NCJA logo
Report Home
Issue Discussions
Small Group Discussions
NHTSA People Saving People Logo

Participants met by profession after the plenary sessions to review the issues raised during the large group discussions on the four topic areas and to identify and prioritize possible actions the discipline can take, either through the represented national organizations or at the state and local levels, to address the issues.  The groups identified how these actions will be taken, stakeholders who must be a part of these actions, including those not present at the meeting, and the resources needed to bring about change.

Multidisciplinary workgroups reviewed the priority issues and strategies selected from the groups by profession and identified common areas of interest.  They then developed recommendations that will help the system as a whole improve traffic safety.

The major outcomes of these breakout sessions were the need for improved information sharing among and understanding of the roles of the criminal justice system components and for leadership in improving system efficiency.

Priorities and Recommendations for Law Enforcement

Streamline paperwork through technology

  • Solicit NHTSA to coordinate and fund the standardization of paperless systems. The IWIN system in Illinois ( and TRACS in Iowa ( ) were identified as possible model paperless systems.
  • Conduct research on DWI detection devices to get them certified and accepted by the courts.  Manufacturers of these devices should conduct this research.  The cooperation of the courts is needed.
  • Share information on paperless systems with smaller, rural jurisdictions through major organizations.
  • Implement technologies to speed up the system, such as the use of video testimony in administrative hearings.

Law enforcement leadership support for 24/7 DWI enforcement

  • Emphasize to communities that traffic safety is a quality of life issue. 
  • Involve state and local law enforcement liaisons (LELs) in mobilizing law enforcement leadership around the issue and involve them more in training.
  • Place greater emphasis on highway safety in training at the academies.
  • Implement officer recognition programs to help motivate officers to enforce DWI laws.

Performance Measures

  • Encourage each police department to establish a strategic plan to address traffic safety issues.
  • Allow local level flexibility on the development of goals and measures to accommodate differences in agency size and the traffic safety condition of each jurisdiction.

Priorities and Recommendations for Prosecution

Build an infrastructure for the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor

  • Set the creation of TSRPs as a national priority.  The NAPC and NHTSA should take the lead in collaboration with the APRI's NTLC, and state prosecutor associations.
  • Create the infrastructure for the TSRP by 2008, with TSRPs in at least one half of all states by that time.  

Training and Knowledge Exchange

  • Identify NAPC and NHTSA, in collaboration with APRI's NTLC, National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), state prosecutor organizations, and state highway safety offices as lead agencies in training of prosecutors.
  • Involve all justice system components in training (law enforcement, prosecutors and judges) as well as toxicologists.  Understanding of the role of each system component is needed.
  • Establish a commitment in each prosecutor office to have a certain percentage of "specially trained prosecutors" to handle traffic safety cases. Training in traffic case management should be an on-going process.
  • Conduct local needs assessments for each jurisdiction that involve all stakeholders.  This encourages buy-in and ownership among all system components in the process.
  • Use distance learning, conferences, seminars, printed materials such as brochures and websites to share knowledge.


  • Direct more resources to DWI prosecution.  Currently, more NHTSA funding for DWI is devoted to law enforcement agencies than to prosecutor offices. 
  • Set traffic safety as a priority for prosecutors.  NHTSA, NTLC, NDAA, state highway safety offices, legislatures, county agencies, community, and civic groups should take the lead.
  • Convene a national prosecutors' summit, including elected District Attorneys.
  • Support funding for loan forgiveness or loan repayment assistance programs for recent law school graduates to help recruit and retain quality public sector prosecutors.

Priorities and Recommendations for the Judiciary

Create national standards on the handling of traffic cases

  • Create a national project to develop standards for efficient disposal of traffic cases.  Groups such as the National Center for State Courts, the American Judges Association and the National Association for Court Management, should spearhead this effort.  A suggested timeframe is three years.
  • Convene a national summit with follow-up on standards for the handling of traffic cases.
  • Solicit input from national judicial organizations.
  • Design a training program based on the standards developed.  Courses should be available through organizations such as the NJC and the National Association of State Judicial Educators.

Create understanding in the criminal justice system and the public of the court's role

  • Hold more meetings such as this one to increase understanding of the court's role in traffic safety.

Expand DWI Courts

  • Expand DWI courts, whether as separate courts or through the incorporation of DWI court principals into existing courts.
  • Involve state highway safety representatives and the administrative office of the court (AOC) in each state.
  • Develop a national evaluation project to examine the effectiveness of DWI courts and the effective principles for replication.
  • Expand DWI courts into more states.


  • Ensure courts are a part of the highway safety and criminal justice funding streams.
  • Streamline funding streams, such as those coming out of the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and NHTSA.

Priorities and Recommendations from the Multidisciplinary Groups

Simplify the process for all system components

  • Review legislation, reduce paperwork, and improve courtroom procedures.
  • Identify and share knowledge of best practices and what works in traffic safety.
  • Improve understanding among the system components on each other's role in the system to enable challenges to be addressed holistically.  This needs to be done locally through continued discourse and meetings among multidisciplinary groups, such as this meeting.

Use Technology to increase efficiency, communication and knowledge

  • Improve accuracy of and access to record systems.
  • Identify and use technology to move information among the system components.
  • Develop standards for information exchange across jurisdictions, including what and how data is gathered.
  • Identify and use technology to streamline paperwork and increase training on use of these technologies.

Establish traffic safety resource prosecutors

  • Commit resources to establish and train a cadre of traffic safety resource prosecutors (TSRPs) and state level liaisons in each state.
  • Involve TSRPs in the training of law enforcement and judges and with the identification of best practices and sharing of information.

Make Impaired Driving a high priority

  • Set the reduction of impaired driving as a national priority. 
  • Continue high visibility enforcement efforts.
  • Solicit command level support for efforts to combat impaired driving, including from district attorneys, high ranking judges, and police chiefs.
  • Increase specialized knowledge in this area for judges, court personnel, prosecutors and law enforcement.
  • Expand DWI courts.  Identify and adopt best practices that are flexible enough to be used in jurisdictions that do not have the resources to sustain separate courts.