PUTTING RESEARCH INTO ACTION: SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS SAVE LIVES

There is substantial and consistent evidence from research that highly publicized, highly visible, and frequent sobriety checkpoints reduce impaired driving fatal crashes by 18% to 24%. Sobriety checkpoint programs, when conducted appropriately, save lives. However, only 11 states in the United States conduct sobriety checkpoints on at least a weekly basis. Lack of police resources and funding, lack of support by task forces and citizen activists, and the perception that checkpoints are not productive or cost-effective are the main reasons for their infrequent use. These barriers can be overcome through education and training. Enlightened task forces and citizen activists can provide the motivation to use this effective enforcement tool. With the national focus on homeland security, the timing is ideal for increased traffic enforcement in America. The public has always supported the increased use of sobriety checkpoints and should support their increased use to check not only for impaired drivers but also for valid driver's licenses and identification and for any illegal activity. Checkpoints have been shown to detect not only impaired drivers but also drivers not wearing safety belts, drivers with suspended licenses, fugitives, illegal weapons, stolen vehicles, and numerous other violations. It is recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) work with the International Association for Chiefs of Police (IACP), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to enhance the use of traffic enforcement programs, particularly sobriety checkpoints, to reduce impaired driving and other crimes.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 35-44
  • Monograph Title: IMPLEMENTING IMPAIRED DRIVING COUNTERMEASURES: PUTTING RESEARCH INTO ACTION, A SYMPOSIUM, AUGUST 21-23, 2003, IRVINE, CALIFORNIA
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00987734
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 22 2005 12:00AM