A Campaign to Reduce Impaired Driving Through Retail-Oriented Enforcement in Washington State

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) launched its Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Reduction Program in 2002 with the immediate goal of reducing sales to intoxicated people through enforcement directed at bars and restaurants. The program targets those establishments that produce high levels of DUI arrests. The ultimate and long-term program goal is to reduce DUI arrests and alcohol-related traffic crashes. The DUI Reduction Program showed great promise, with anecdotal reports suggesting that it reduced sales to intoxicated people at the targeted retail establishments. To assess the impact of the program, WSLCB joined with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation to conduct the Washington Enforcement and DUI Reduction demonstration project with funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The demonstration project was designed to assess the feasibility of implementing the DUI reduction program in a more standardized manner and of assessing the effects of the program on three outcome measures: Retailer willingness to sell alcohol to apparently intoxicated people, blood alcohol concentraiton (BAC) levels of drivers arrested for DUI, and DUI arrestees naming establishments exposed to the program as their place of last drink. The results of this demonstration project are mixed. The evaluation detected no change in retail practices; however, it did produce two promising findings: reductions in the average number of monthly DUI arrests in intervention sites and reductions in average BAC levels among DUI arrestees. Several factors limit the potency of findings: small sample size, variation in the protocol for the delivery of education material, retailers' level of exposure to responsible beverage server training, possible erosion of effects, and the level of enforcement activity in comparison sites. The evaluation suggests that a stronger intervention involving enforcement of sales to intoxicated persons laws and related educational outreach may produce all desired results but that further evaluations will be needed. This report concludes with suggestions for how future tests of similar interventions could be improved.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Demonstration Project Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01103996
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-810 913
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-04-H-05074
  • Files: HSL, NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2008 4:29PM