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Effective Drink Driving Prevention and Enforcement Strategies: Approaches to Improving Practice

NCJ Number
Kiptoo Terer; Rick Brown
Date Published
February 2014
8 pages

This study examined the effectiveness of drink driving prevention and enforcement strategies being used by law enforcement agencies in Australia.


The study used the results of a literature review to develop a set of principles necessary for effective drink driving countermeasures as well as a set of guidelines for use by agencies in implementing these strategies. The four strategies highlighted in this paper are random breath testing, publicity campaigns, penalties, and targeted interventions. The primary aim of random breath testing (RBT) is to deter individuals from driving while drunk by increasing a person's fear of being detained for drunk driving. The paper presents information on the success of this program since it was first introduced in the Australian State of Victoria in 1976. Publicity or media campaigns are part of RBT operations and are used by law enforcement to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of drink driving. Another effective intervention/prevention strategy is the use of drink driving penalties such as fines and license disqualification or suspension; or imprisonment. And finally, another option for use by law enforcement and targeted primarily at recidivist drink drivers is rehabilitation and education programs that will improve knowledge and attitudes for those identified with alcohol disorders. Further research on the effectiveness of these practices is discussed. References