Evaluation of Seven Publicized Enforcement Demonstration Programs to Reduce Impaired Driving: Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and Michigan
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Evaluation of Seven Publicized Enforcement Demonstration Programs to Reduce Impaired Driving: Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and Michigan

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  • Alternative Title:
    Evaluation of 7 publicized enforcement demonstration programs to reduce impaired driving
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    Between 2000 and 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded seven alcohol demonstration projects designed to reduce impaired driving through well-publicized and highly visible enforcement. The projects were conducted in seven States: Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and Michigan. This report describes the program evaluations conducted in all seven States. In each of the seven States, funding supported increased enforcement and publicity. In Georgia, Indiana, and Michigan funding was provided for paid advertising. Each State acted as a case study because the type and amount of publicity and enforcement differed substantially. Significant reductions in crashes in the intervention States relative to surrounding States were obtained in Georgia and Tennessee, when an interrupted time-series analysis of FARS data comparing the ratio of drinking to non-drinking drivers in fatal crashes was used; however, a corresponding statistically significant reduction in alcohol-related fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was not obtained. Compared to neighboring States, Indiana and Michigan experienced significant decreases in both the ratio of drinking to non-drinking driver fatal crashes and alcohol-related fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. As compared to surrounding States, fatal crash reductions in Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, and Michigan ranged from 11 to 20 percent. In these four States, the programs were estimated to have saved lives ranging from 25 in Indiana to 43 in Tennessee to 57 in Michigan to 60 in Georgia. The other three States showed only marginal, non-significant changes relative to their comparison jurisdictions or States. In summary, it appears that a variety of media and enforcement procedures that supplement ongoing statewide efforts can yield meaningful crash reduction effects among alcohol impaired drivers. In general, States employing sobriety checkpoints, using paid advertising and programs implemented statewide were associated with crash reductions relative to surrounding States. However, the use of saturation patrols alone did not preclude crash reduction. As each of these demonstration programs was unique and superimposed on existing State program activities targeting drinking drivers, simple relationships were not obtained between crash reductions and (a) amount, type, and target of publicity campaigns; (b) amount and type of enforcement activities; and (c) driver awareness, perceptions and self-reported behavior. Based upon previous research and some of the implications from this study, a State impaired driving enforcement program is more likely to be successful if it incorporates (a) numerous checkpoints or highly visible saturation patrols conducted routinely throughout the year along with mobilized crackdowns (at least three per year) and; (b) intensive publicity coverage of the enforcement activities, including paid advertising.
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