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Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2013
104 pages
This report outlines the critical components of an effort to achieve significant reductions in vehicle crashes caused by alcohol-impaired drivers.
These components are stronger laws, improved enforcement strategies, innovative adjudication programs, and accelerated development of new in-vehicle alcohol-detection technologies. Recommendations pertinent to these components are legislation to reduce the per se blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for all drivers; conducting high-visibility enforcement of impaired driving laws; incorporating passive alcohol-sensing technology into enforcement efforts; expanding the use of in-vehicle devices to prevent operation by an impaired driver; using DWI (driving while intoxicated) courts and other programs to reduce recidivism by repeat DWI offenders; and establishing measurable goals for reducing impaired driving and tracking progress toward those goals. The implementation of each of these recommendations is discussed. Background information to support the urgency of implementing these recommendations encompasses the scope of the impaired driving problem (prevalence, fatalities, injuries, economic cost, and beliefs about drinking and driving) and the history of efforts to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. In addition, a chapter addresses BAC effects on driving performance and crash risks. Appendixes contain the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB's) highway recommendation history on impaired driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) 2011 data on alcohol-impaired driving, and elements of the 2000 NTSB model program. Figures, tables, and references