Impaired drivers are detected and arrested through regular traffic enforcement and crash investigations as well as through special impaired-driving checkpoints and saturation patrols. Special enforcement activities directed primarily at other offenses such as speeding or seat belt nonuse, offer an additional opportunity to detect impaired drivers, especially at night, as impaired drivers often speed or fail to wear seat belts. However, when conducting special enforcement activities for other offenses, such as speeding and seat belt nonuse, it is important to maintain the enforcement focus on those offenses.
There is no data on how frequently integrated enforcement methods are used.
The More Cops, More Stops program was conducted in six phases from 2011 to 2013 in cities in Oklahoma and Tennessee. The program aimed at HVE of impaired driving, seat belt, and speeding laws (Nichols et al., 2016). A small, statistically significant decline was observed in the percentage of impaired drivers with BACs > .00 g/dL and BAC ≥ .08 g/dL in Nashville during the enforcement period; declines were greater when checkpoints were used. However, there was not enough evidence to suggest that More Cops, More Stops enhanced outcomes over those of other ongoing campaigns such as Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over. Instead, the complex focus of the high-visibility campaign and the demands on law enforcement to enforce three traffic safety issues together may have led to no more than modest benefits. Other studies have also produced mixed results. Jones et al. (1995) conducted a three-site evaluation of integrated impaired driving, speed, and seat belt use enforcement. Sites that combined high publicity with increased enforcement reduced crashes likely to involve alcohol (such as single-vehicle nighttime crashes) by 10% to 35%. They concluded that the results were encouraging, but not definitive. The Massachusetts Saving Lives comprehensive programs in six communities used integrated enforcement methods. The programs reduced fatal crashes involving alcohol by 42% (Hingson et al., 1996). About half the speeding drivers detected through these enforcement activities had been drinking and about half the impaired drivers were speeding. See also Voas and Lacey (2011), Goodwin et al. (2005), and Stuster (2000).
As with other enforcement strategies, the primary costs are for law enforcement time and for publicity.
Time to implement:
Impaired driving can be integrated into other enforcement activities within 3 months if officers are trained in detecting impaired drivers and in SFST.
- Publicity: Integrated enforcement activities should be publicized extensively to be effective in deterring impaired driving and other traffic offenses. Paid media may be necessary to complement news stories and other earned media, especially in an ongoing program (Goodwin et al., 2005).
- Priorities: Integrated enforcement activities send a message to the public and to law enforcement officers alike that traffic safety is not a single-issue activity.
- Resident reporting programs: Some jurisdictions have dedicated programs where drivers can call to report suspected impaired drivers. Such programs can generate support for law enforcement efforts and increase the perception in the community that impaired drivers will be caught. A study of a grassroots DWI witness reward program in Stockton, California, found a significant decrease in alcohol-related injury/fatality crashes following the program, relative to six comparison communities (Van Vleck & Brinkley, 2009). Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada launched a program in 2007 called Campaign 911 to encourage the general public to report impaired drivers. Calls to 911 increased sharply after the program was implemented, as did the number of vehicles stopped and the number of criminal charges issued (Solomon & Chamberlain, 2013). The effect of the program on crashes was not examined. NHTSA offers a manual for law enforcement agencies and local organizations that are interested in establishing a DWI reporting program in their communities (Kelley-Baker et al., 2006, 2008).