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The Effectiveness of Traffic Stops in Reducing Drunk Driving

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group
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Researchers recently released a report in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research that explained the relationship between police activity and drunk driving.

The research project, funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), geared its study toward answering the following question, “How much of a reduction in drinking and driving would be achieved by how much improvement in enforcement intensity?”

Increased Traffic Stops Cut Down on Drinking and Driving

It’s of little surprise researchers found that when there is greater police activity (frequent checkpoints, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests, patrolling), there is a notable reduction in drunk driving.

Below are some of the researchers’ findings.

  • Drivers in communities with very little traffic stop enforcement had 3.8 times the odds of driving with illegal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels (BAC over .08) compared to communities with the highest rates of traffic stop enforcement.
  • Communities that have high DUI arrest rates have fewer drunk drivers on the road.
  • Where law enforcement saturates the community with DUI patrols, it lowers the odd of drunk driving.
  • In communities with a high number of non-DUI related traffic enforcement, such as seat belt violations, speeding tickets, citations, and warnings, there is also a lower rate of drunk driving.

This information can be very instrumental for law enforcement agencies in prioritizing their efforts. “[I]t appears that the area of enforcement offers the greatest opportunity for reducing impaired-driving fatal crashes in the immediate future,” the researchers note.

They conclude, “The findings in this study may help law enforcement agencies around the country adjust their traffic enforcement intensity to reduce impaired driving in their community.”

Need an accident attorney in Clarksburg?

If you or your loved one was injured in an auto accident in Clarksburg, call our injury firm, the Miley Legal Group, for help. Our primary aim is to help victims recover damages when hurt by negligent parties, such as bar owners through dram shop liability, drunk drivers, or other reckless drivers. Contact us today for a free legal consultation at 304-931-4088.

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