Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Effectiveness of seven programs to reduce alcohol-impaired driving
  1. M E Vegega*
  1. Correspondence National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Room W44–302 (NTI-131) Washington DC 20590, USA


This presentation reports on the results of a complex, seven-state demonstration program to reduce alcohol-impaired driving through well-publicised and highly visible enforcement. Each of the demonstration programs was unique and was superimposed on existing State program activities targeting drinking drivers. In each of the seven States, funding supported increased enforcement and publicity. Each State acted as a case study because the type and amount of publicity and enforcement differed substantially. Time series analyses were used to determine if the ratio of drinking drivers to non-drinking drivers involved in fatal crashes experienced changes during the enforcement program. The US Fatality Analysis Reporting System was used in the analyses, with neighbouring States (or countries) serving as comparisons. In addition, alcohol-related fatalities were expressed in a ratio relative to annual vehicle miles travelled. There was considerable variation in the impact measures, with four States showing a statistically significant difference in at least one measure. Lives saved ranged from 25 to 60, depending on the State. A major finding concerned the use of paid advertising. Three of the four States demonstrating a decrease in drinking driver fatal crashes used paid advertising in their programs. The lessons learnt from this set of demonstration programs include the need for sustained high-visibility enforcement, for sufficient enforcement efforts that create the impression of increased risk of detection by impaired drivers, and the need for intensive publicity about the increased enforcement activity that reaches the impaired driver population.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.