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NCJ Number: 198744 Find in a Library
Title: Battling DUI: A Comparative Analysis of Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:72  Issue:1  Dated:January 2003  Pages:1-6
Author(s): Jeffrey W. Greene
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article - Designates individual journal articles: as published, reprinted, or online/electronic.
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article compares sobriety checkpoint programs to saturation patrols in their ability to reduce drunk driving.
Abstract: The author begins by explaining the prevalence of the problem of drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16,653 people died in alcohol-related car accidents in 2000. For the most part, police agencies have relied on two strategies to combat the problem: sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. Sobriety checkpoints operate by restricting the traffic flow in a designated area. If officers detect any impaired functioning in drivers at this checkpoint, they may further test the driver for signs of prior alcohol consumption. Sobriety checkpoint areas must be clearly marked and allow drivers a secondary route to avoid the checkpoint. These checkpoints serve mainly as public awareness and education; they do not net many arrests. Saturation patrols are the second strategy used to deter drunk drivers. Police officers identify an area where many drunk driving accidents have occurred. They then step up patrol efforts in this area, looking for any signs of impaired driving, such as driving left of center or following too closely. The author offers some statistical comparisons of each method of police response. The Missouri State Police conducted 58 sobriety checkpoints in 2000 and arrested 323 drivers for driving under the influence. In comparison, over a 2 year period saturation patrols were performed 822 times in Missouri, resulting in 1,666 DUI arrests. A major component of both types of strategies is media exposure. Public awareness of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols is the basis for their success. Deterrence is the key aspect of both strategies, so the media's cooperation in informing the public about them is crucial. The author offers several recommendations for law enforcement agencies, including improving officers’ skills in detecting impaired drivers, implementing an aggressive media campaign, and identifying problem areas. In conclusion, the author states that drunk driving is the number one killer in America, and it is preventable.
Main Term(s): Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse education; Alcoholism detection; Deterrence; Patrol; Police crime-prevention; Specialized police operations
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