Tools to Combat Impaired Driving: Enforcement Visibility and Source Investigations

Sam C. Whatley (Editor)

Series: Safety and Risk in Society
BISAC: HEA021000



Volume 10

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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Research has shown that an effective way to reduce impaired driving is to increase the perceived risk of being stopped and arrested by law enforcement if driving while impaired. One of the most successful strategies for doing this is the coupling of intense and highly visible enforcement with publicity about the enforcement campaign. The term “high-visibility enforcement” (HVE) is used to describe law enforcement efforts aimed at deterring unsafe driving behavior by increasing the public’s perception of being caught, arrested, and prosecuted. Two common enforcement strategies of HVE operations are sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

Checkpoints concentrate law enforcement officers at the roadside to identify impaired drivers passing through. Saturation patrols involve an increased number of officers patrolling a limited area where impaired driving is prevalent. Both use highly visible elements (such as a concentration of law enforcement officers, bright lights, signs, and marked patrol cars) to heighten their visual impact. Enforcement efforts must be supported by an equal amount of publicity and communications. Publicity regarding the operations also raises awareness, and the perception of increased likelihood of detection of impaired driving. Research has indicated that HVE operations that are well-publicized, conducted frequently, and have high visibility deter impaired driving.

This book presents case studies of HVE programs currently operating in the United States and includes discussion of the HVE program’s history, enforcement strategies, visibility elements, operation, resources, use of media, educational components, funding, support from political leaders and the community, barriers encountered, and strengths of the program. This book is intended to provide information on impaired driving HVE programs for regional, state and local agencies considering incorporating HVE strategies into their efforts to curb impaired driving or to modify existing HVE programs. (Imprint: Nova)


Increasing Impaired-Driving Enforcement Visibility: Six Case Studies
(James C. Fell, A. Scott McKnight, and Amy Auld-Owens, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Source Investigations: A Tool to Combat Impaired Driving
(Christopher Curtis and Rebecca L. Ramirez, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)


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