DUI Enforcement

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					             DUI Enforcement
A Case Study of the Implementation of a Best
   Practice as Part of the Enforcement of
          Underage Drinking Laws

                   June 2003

            Susan Brittain, M. A.ED.
                    DUI Enforcement
 A Case Study of the Implementation of a Best Practice
 as Part of the Enforcement of Underage Drinking Laws
                                Susan Brittain, M. A.ED.


Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. There is no doubt that underage drinking is a
major public health problem in the United States, particularly due to ambivalence toward
drinking in general and especially toward underage drinking. Many feel that teenagers
always have drunk and always will drink. Consequently, underage drinking is often
treated as a minor infraction, or ignored altogether. All too often, parents regard
underage drinking as a “rite of passage” and express relief that at least their children are
not using illicit drugs (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1999).

Underage DUI enforcement was picked as a best practice, and Arizona was chosen for
this case study because funds from the state’s Enforcing Underage Drinking (EUDL)
block grants to support underage DUI enforcement efforts. Specifically, these funds are
used to pay overtime to law enforcement officers and to buy equipment to combat DUI
and underage drinking. In addition, Arizona has been very successful in implementing a
strong DUI enforcement coalition that includes a significant focus on underage drinking.

Underage DUI enforcement efforts can include passage of state legislation such as zero
tolerance laws, and graduated drivers’ licensing; enforcement initiatives such as sobriety
checkpoints, saturation patrols, administrative license revocation and creation of hold
over facilities; educational efforts including public information campaigns and school-
based education programs; and other DUI prevention methods, including designated
driver programs and server training programs.

In order to institute a successful underage DUI enforcement program there needs to be
comprehensive, localized, and broad-based support from the community, including
representatives from the public sector, private sector, businesses and concerned citizens.
For example public sector involvement may include representatives of law enforcement
agencies, ABC agencies, court systems, schools, treatment and rehabilitation agencies
and local governments. Private sector representatives may include local restaurant and
bar owners and managers, off-sale alcohol outlets, media, and insurance companies.
Advocacy and public interest groups, such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving),
SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and other citizen advocates should also
be provided with opportunities for involvement.

How do you design and implement a successful underage DUI enforcement program?
This report is designed to help answer that question by helping EUDL Coordinators:
        •   Determine the characteristics of a sound underage DUI enforcement program
        •   Plan, implement and organize a successful program, and
        •   Develop their distinct role as a Coordinator.


In 1998, about 10.4 million current drinkers were between the ages of 12 and 20. More
than five million of these individuals were binge drinkers (five or more drinks in a row
for men, four or more drinks in a row for women). One study estimates the total
economic cost of alcohol use by underage drinkers in America amounts to nearly $53
billion annually, including over $19 billion in traffic crashes (Booze News, 1999).
However, alcohol-related traffic fatalities have declined among young persons since 1982
due to increases in the minimum drinking age (from 18 to 21 years old), educational
efforts and programs aimed at reducing drinking and driving among young persons,
formation of student groups to combat drinking and driving, and changes in state laws
penalizing drivers less than 21 years of age for driving with low BAC’s (blood alcohol
content) (Vegega & Klein, 1991). Despite the existence of such laws, loopholes and
weak enforcement abound. Wagenaar and Wolfson, in 1994, estimated that only two out
of every 1,000 occasions of underage drinking resulted in an arrest. Active enforcement
of underage drinking laws followed by consistent “use and lose” license withdrawal has
been shown to reduce alcohol-related crashes involving young drivers (Giesbrecht, 1999).

Although the rates of alcohol-involved traffic accidents in the United States have
declined in recent years, drinking and driving and riding with drinking drivers remain
serious problems among teenagers and young adults. According to the American
Academy of Pediatrics, the more youth drink, the more likely they are to drink and drive,
or ride in a car where the driver has been drinking (Drug Strategies, 1999). Survey data
suggest that as many as 40% of American adolescents have driven after drinking and that
62% have ridden with an intoxicated driver. In 1999, there were 6,374 youth motor
vehicle crashes, 2,238 alcohol related--74% of those involved were male (National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1999). Young people age 15 – 20 make up 6.7%
of the total driving population but are involved in 14% of all fatal crashes. Three factors
work together to make the teen years so deadly for young drivers—inexperience, risk-
taking behavior and immaturity, and greater risk exposure (National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration, 1998).

Adding to the incidence of youth traffic fatalities is the fact that young drivers have much
higher crash rates during the night than during the day. While drivers ages 16 to 17
accumulate only 14% of their miles driven between the hours of 9 PM and 6 AM, they
experience 39% of their fatal crashes during that time period. It is highly likely that some
of the increased risk at night is due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs (Presseur, Sole
& Stewart, 1999).

The years since 1980 have witnessed an unprecedented growth of grassroots activism and
legislation designed to address the drunk driving problem. Responding in part to research
concerning the extent of alcohol involvement in fatal traffic crashes, numerous citizen
action groups were formed, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and
Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD, now Students Against Destructive Decisions).
These groups lobbied for new laws and promoted school-based and public education
programs aimed at preventing drinking and driving. Furthermore, national newspaper
and television network coverage of drinking and driving increased dramatically during
the 1980’s (Hingson, 1993). The establishment of the President’s Commission on Drunk
Driving in 1982 placed the issue on the national agenda, and the Alcohol Traffic Safety
Act of 1983 established financial incentives for states to bring their traffic safety
programs into compliance with federal recommendations for tough drinking laws (Evans,
Neville & Graham, 1991).

Underage DUI Enforcement
For young persons, the most immediate determinants of drinking and driving behaviors
are three sets of beliefs about DUI—expectancies, peer and family beliefs, and control
beliefs. Expectancies encompass the beliefs that an individual holds about the likelihood
that DUI will lead to consequences, such as arrest, loss of license or injury and, more
generally, beliefs about how safe or dangerous it is to drive after drinking. Behaviors of
peers and family can have a significant influence on underage DUI, as well as the
expectations about the availability of alternatives that young people feel they have to
driving after drinking—whether they feel in control of the situation (Grube & Voas,

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (1992) identified three major
reasons why young drivers are not being arrested for DUI at rates which are anywhere
near their incidence in the alcohol crash population.
    1. Place—Since underage drinking is illegal, it is less likely to occur at bars,
        restaurants and other traditional drinking places. Most young drivers drink at
        parks, beaches and in neighborhoods—not primary patrol areas for traffic,
        highway and/or DUI officers.
    2. Time—Young drivers do most of their drinking and driving on weekends. The
        peak time period is from approximately 10 PM until 2 AM on Friday and
        Saturday. These nighttime periods also represent peak demand periods for other
        types of police services. This is also the time when large numbers of youths
        congregate at concerts, sporting events and keg parties. Such large concentrations
        of youths drinking can overwhelm available resources.
    3. Driving Cues—Most officers are trained in the established or traditional DUI
        detection cues—psychomotor impairment seen as the inability to control the
        motion of the vehicle in the traffic lane. For youth, cognitive impairment may
        cause them to lose good judgment and behave without regard to the inherent risks
        in speeding, hard weaves and erratic lane changes. Youth DUI cues are not as
        well understood as the traditional cues, and this may affect youth DUI detection,
        imposition of implied consent statutes on youth and enforcement of the lower
        youth BAC laws.

Grube and Vaos (1996) found that peer and family beliefs and enforcement expectancies
seem to be somewhat less important for the drinking and driving decisions made by
young people. The findings suggest that preventive efforts should focus on further
increasing awareness among young people about the physical risks of DUI and about
their own vulnerability to these risks. Similarly, providing alternatives to DUI and
increasing young people’s awareness of these alternatives appears to be important. In
addition, prevention interventions might seek to increase the salience of enforcement and
strengthen the relationship between enforcement beliefs and DUI behavior. The lack of a
relationship between these beliefs and underage DUI may largely reflect an accurate
assessment of the relatively low likelihood of being detected and of suffering legal
consequences for driving after drinking. The ratio of DUI arrests to alcohol-involved
injury accidents is even lower among underage drivers than it is for older drivers.
Increasing enforcement of underage drinking and driving laws can be an important
preventive strategy. However, increasing perceptions of the likelihood of legal
consequences either through the media or through enhanced police visibility appears to
be a necessary component of successful DUI enforcement campaigns.

                    Implementation Design and Strategies

According to NHTSA (1994), there are eight major elements of a juvenile DUI
enforcement program:
   • Policy Oversight and Coordination
   • Strategic and Tactical Planning
   • Reactive and Proactive Enforcement
   • Prosecution
   • Adjudication and Diversion
   • Supervision and Treatment
   • Public Education
   • Feedback and Evaluation

In order to implement a strong juvenile DUI enforcement program, EUDL Coordinators
must first decide on the program elements needed in their respective states. Program
considerations can include available resources, such as law enforcement urban growth
and parental attitudes toward drinking and driving. Coordinators can begin to implement
these eight elements only after careful planning

Characteristics of a Sound Program
People are involved in the issue of juvenile underage drinking enforcement because they
want to make a difference. They want to reach a common goal. It’s one of the reasons
we have been able to operate a successful program in Arizona. Everyone works together.
      --La Retta Lehan, EUDL Coordinator, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety

Arizona’s DUI task force has been together for over 20 years. Initially made up of law
enforcement officers, the coalition now includes ABC, SADD, MADD, Indian Tribal
Police, and Parks and Recreation and emergency medical personnel. Although each state
will ultimately have to decide its own program elements, members of the Arizona
coalition all agree that the following elements should be present in order for a program to
be successful:
    • Effective Leadership—Alberto Gutier, the Director of the Governor’s Office of
        Highway Safety, is the driving force behind the DUI efforts in the state. He has
        effectively utilized both EUDL and NHTSA funds in reaching the most coalition
        organizations and people. They, in turn, have helped him build a successful
        program. Mr. Gutier is also an advocate for policy change around toughening
        laws, including DUI.

       Strategies: Effective leadership must have a comprehensive view of underage
       DUI enforcement. The whole picture is important, otherwise you miss

       Barriers: One barrier to effective leadership is parental attitudes toward what
       leadership is trying to accomplish in underage enforcement. Many times parents
       don’t see the seriousness of alcohol use. Oftentimes parents are relieved that their
       child is using alcohol and not drugs. The lack of parental understanding about the
       seriousness of providing alcohol to minors can undercut the leadership involved
       in underage DUI enforcement.

       Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can play an important
       role in facilitating effective leadership by building strong relationships with a
       variety of community agencies and organizations. Once these relationships have
       been established, the key to continuing success is good communication among the
       agencies and organizations and the EUDL coordinator. The EUDL Coordinator’s
       communication and coalition-building skills can go a long way in bringing
       everyone together to work towards a common goal.

   •   Strong Partnerships—As former law enforcement officers, Mr. Guiter and
       EUDL Coordinator La Retta LeHan have made sure that law enforcement
       partnerships throughout the state are strong. They have done this by encouraging
       smaller police departments to work together to combat underage drinking. They
       have also built good relationships with liquor control agents, tribal police,
       university police forces and organizations such as MADD and SADD to help
       build a comprehensive program of enforcement and education.

       Strategies: Strong partnerships require a common goal. Coalition members
       should be involved because they want to make a difference in underage DUI

       Barriers: La Retta LeHan, EUDL Coordinator in Arizona, says the biggest
       barrier she has seen in other states to strong partnerships is agencies and
       organizations working against each other instead of with each other. She believes
    that until this type of barrier is broken down, you cannot build a successful
    underage DUI enforcement program.

    Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can help foster strong
    partnerships between agencies and organizations by being a source of information
    and support to all involved with the project. He/She can work with organizations
    to mediate competitive relationships and help agencies see the value in
    partnership and teamwork. A Coordinator who is open to new ideas and
    innovation goes a long way in building strong partnerships. If the EUDL
    Coordinator does not have skills in facilitation or mediation, there are
    organizations that can offer training in these areas.

•   Common Goal—The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety believes
    strongly that the only way to build a successful underage DUI enforcement
    program is for everyone to work together towards a common goal.

    Strategies: Work towards a common goal comes about through effective
    communication, reinforcement of program goals, and the communication of
    results to program participants and the community.

    Barriers: The barriers to reaching a common goal are competition between
    agencies/organizations; unclear program goals and failure to communicate
    effectively to program participants and the community.

    Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator is largely responsible
    for working with agencies and organizations to develop program goals, facilitate
    interaction between agencies and organizations and offer open communication to
    all program participants and the community.

•   Buy In from Superiors—Each of the people interviewed from the coalition said
    they could not be as effective as they have been without strong support from their
    superiors. They were able to gain and keep this support by constantly
    communicating with their superiors and producing results.

    Strategies: Strong, effective leadership from the organization responsible for
    distributing EUDL funds can go a long way in convincing administrators and
    decision makers in partnering agencies to support underage DUI efforts.
    Common goals and positive results stemming from those goals are also
    facilitators for buy in from agency superiors.

    Barriers: The largest barriers to buy-in from superiors is lack of effective
    communication of the problem, unclear program goals and a failure to
    communicate results in such a way that those in charge see the value of the effort.
       Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can elicit support from
       those in charge in agencies and organizations by making sure that program goals
       are understood, that problems that arise are communicated and addressed quickly,
       and that results are communicated in a timely fashion. Monthly reporting
       procedures can be helpful in communicating to all parties involved in the decision
       making process.

   •   An Effective Strategy for Addressing the Media—Alberto Gutier makes
       himself available to the media 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of
       the year. He was able to obtain media coverage for DUI enforcement, both print
       and TV, almost daily during this past holiday season by being available and
       offering daily statistics on DUI stops and numbers arrested. Mr. Gutier stresses
       that without a strong media strategy you cannot hope for a successful DUI
       enforcement program.

Media blitzes provide important assistance when used in conjunction with enforcement
campaigns. The purpose is to alert the public to an upcoming campaign through stories
in print and electronic media, to raise the public’s awareness of efforts to deal with the
problem, and to deter the illegal behavior. Increased news coverage and general
information campaigns also enhance enforcement. To reduce repeat DUI offenses, it is
important to have extensive publicity that informs the public of a high level of police
enforcement and swift and certain punitive sanctions.

Gotthoffer (1999) found that in order for public service announcements to be effective
with underage drinkers, they must “hit home” and touch upon consequences for underage
drinkers. For example, people we interviewed for this case study said that anti-drinking
and driving PSAs do not touch upon underage drinker’s biggest fear—getting a DUI.
Because most anti-drinking and driving PSAs feature consequences to which youth do
not relate, they are anything but effective. Advertising needs to challenge students’
feelings of invincibility and make them believe that every time they get into a car when
they have been drinking, they run the risk of getting into trouble—getting a DUI, going to
court, paying large fines, and risking their futures. Participants in this study suggested
that they would respond more to realistic ads, particularly ones that spoke to their town
and the likelihood of their being involved in a drinking and driving accident. For
example, ads showing innocent children killed in places familiar to the college student or
showing someone they know being pulled over and charged with DUI would bring the
problem closer to home and would make college students aware that this could happen to
them if they drink and drive. Another area that is virtually ignored in education
campaigns is parental participation. If parents are urged through advertising to teach
their children to drink responsibly, there is a better chance that their children will not
drink and drive.

Another element that should not be overlooked in public information campaigns is direct
youth involvement. Who better than youth themselves to serve as authentic and
knowledgeable voices in lobbying for laws or policies that curtail inappropriate
promotion and glamorization of alcohol, drinking-related risk-taking among their peers,
and inappropriate role models for youth provided by adults. Youth can also play key
roles in enforcement efforts, providing information on where better enforcement is
needed and pointing to major gaps in current enforcement practices (Giesbrecht, 1999).

When considering enforcement issues, it is essential to keep in mind that detecting,
apprehending, and punishing violators is not as important as deterring young people from
drinking and driving in the first place. Deterrence is strongest when people believe that
their punishment will be certain, swift and severe. Therefore, well-publicized
enforcement campaigns in which the apprehended offenders receive penalties are
extremely important—even if there are many offenders who are not caught (Presseur,
Sole & Stewart, 1999).

       Strategies: Come up with a catchy media campaign phrase. For example, in
       Arizona, they developed a campaign called “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” which
       was used with a variety of media including billboards, radio, on key chains, DUI
       vans, etc.
       Choose someone from your coalition who is media savvy and is willing to make
       themselves available to the media as a spokesperson. Take the time to build
       relationships with media across the board—newspapers, TV, advertisers, etc.

       Barriers: The biggest barrier to a media strategy is the unwillingness on the
       coalition’s part to build relationships with the media and to be available to them.
       It does take time both to build relationships and to interact with the media.
       Having the media as your ally can go a long way in building a successful
       underage DUI enforcement program.

       Role of the EUDL Coordinator: If the EUDL Coordinator has expertise and
       feels comfortable in the role, he or she can be the media relations spokesperson.
       If this is not a comfortable role the Coordinator can be a facilitator between the
       media and the person chosen as a spokesperson for the coalition. Often the
       EUDL Coordinator will be the first contact for the media, so it will be important
       that he or she build a relationship with the media whether the Coordinator is the
       spokesperson or not. The Coordinator can help assure that the media get in touch
       with the spokesperson and that their questions are answered.

   •   Training of Judges and Prosecutors—Reducing underage alcohol use and DUI
       requires courts and juvenile agencies to use the laws and penalties that apply in a
       particular state. Many times officers are reluctant to arrest minors engaged in
       alcohol-related activities if they believe the court, the juvenile justice system, or
       even their own department is not responsive (National Highway Safety
       Administration, 1999; Wolfson et al., 1995).

Judges must recognize that they can, and should, take a proactive stance in addressing
juvenile DUI, and communities must take steps to increase the participation of the
judiciary. Meaningful deterrence requires that a hard line be taken so that offenders may
be sanctioned and then motivated to participate in treatment. By the same token,
prosecutors should have an office policy on prosecution of juvenile impaired-driving
cases to ensure consistency and uniformity of prosecutions throughout the office
(National Highway Safety Administration, 1999).

To answer this need, the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has produced a
training film for judges and prosecutors to help them understand the need for enforcing
underage drinking laws. This 15-minute film can be made available to outside

       Strategies: Develop and conduct training for judges, prosecutors and law
       enforcement personnel about underage drinking laws and DUI laws.

       Barriers: Judges and prosecutors often undermine law enforcement officers by
       not treating underage DUI seriously (i.e., low fines, plea bargaining).

       Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The state EUDL program could provide
       support for the development and implementation of training for judges,
       prosecutors and law enforcement personnel as to the seriousness of underage
       drinking and DUI. This training could be offered as needed for new judges,
       prosecutors and law enforcement officers. The Coordinator can also be
       responsible for building strong relationships with these entities and being
       available for questions and concerns.

   •   Strong Consequences—Underage drinkers must perceive that if they are caught
       drinking and driving there will be consequences for their behavior. Arizona is a
       zero tolerance state and underage drinkers automatically have their drivers’
       license revoked for two years if caught. The Governor’s Office of Highway
       Safety works with judges, prosecutors and law enforcement to make sure they are
       enforcing the state’s laws.

Many states aren’t realizing the full lifesaving benefits of zero tolerance and other DUI
legislation because the effectiveness of these laws is watered down. The reasons are
inadequate enforcement, failure of courts to treat these offenses seriously, lack of public
awareness of the law and ignorance of the potential benefits for all these groups. The
effectiveness of juvenile DUI laws depends on strict enforcement, vigorous prosecution
and meaningful disposition. If police and court officials aren’t fully enforcing and
applying underage DUI laws, the perceived risk of apprehension will be low among
young drivers and the deterrent effect of the law will be lost. In addition, law
enforcement officers are going to be even more reluctant to enforce the laws if they know
that judges aren’t going to take them seriously (Shearouse, 2000).

       Strategies: Education in the schools about DUI-related laws and consequences is
       important. Many times youth do not understand the difference between adult DUI
       consequences and underage consequences. The use of peer-to-peer messages is
    often more effective than having an adult speak to youth about DUI and its

    Barriers: Most young people do not perceive being caught as a viable threat nor
    do they think it is a big deal if they get caught.

    Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can work with groups
    such as MADD and SADD and with law enforcement officers to create an
    effective education program in the schools that address consequences as well as

•   Resources for Enforcement Teams—Those officers enforcing underage
    drinking laws must have the resources necessary to carry out their duties if their
    programs are to be successful. EUDL funds have been used in Arizona to help
    buy handheld PBTs, DUI enforcement vans, and to pay officers’ overtime for
    DUI enforcement activities. In addition, the Phoenix Police Department has a
    Youth Squad devoted to underage alcohol enforcement.

    Strategies: Arizona’s law enforcement uses a command post structure that
    stresses partnership and teamwork. The larger law enforcement units regularly
    release officers to work in other jurisdictions when needed on DUI and underage
    drinking patrols. The police have access to MAP officers who can process and
    hold youth offenders, thus freeing officers to go back on duty. In addition, they
    have been successful in securing funds to purchase DUI vans that serve as
    processing points for both adult and juvenile DUI offenders.

    Barriers: There is usually not enough staff even with overtime to effectively
    handle DUI patrols. There is also not enough funding to do extensive underage
    DUI programs. The safety of the officers and youth have to be taken into
    consideration when busting a party. Many areas have had large population
    increases without a resulting increase in law enforcement staff. Many states do
    not have facilities to hold juvenile DUI offenders who cannot be incarcerated with
    adults. This may cause an officer to be kept off patrol for a long period while the
    arrest is processed and the parents are located.

    Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can facilitate different
    law enforcement agencies working together when they are understaffed and there
    is a need for help with underage drinking enforcement such as party patrols,
    sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, etc. It is also possible for the Coordinator
    to attempt to secure grant funding for enforcement resources.

•   Know Your Target Areas—Law enforcement officers in Arizona stressed that a
    program cannot be successful if you don’t know the areas you are serving. It is
    essential that problems be determined for each area served so they can be
    addressed and that a determination be made as to what equipment and manpower
    will be needed to help address those problems.
       Strategies: Law enforcement officers in Arizona stressed strategic planning and
       mapping of all areas served in a jurisdiction, including what type of equipment
       will be needed in different areas and how much manpower will be needed in any
       given area. They suggested using assistance from larger city police if at all
       possible to help patrol limited coverage areas.

       Barriers: When there are large areas of land to cover with limited staff, rural
       areas are virtually ignored.

       Role of the EUDL Coordinator: The EUDL Coordinator can be instrumental in
       helping coordinate planning and mapping of areas to be served by law

In summary, enforcement of DUI laws, with a particular focus on youth, can be
considered a “best practice” for enforcing underage drinking laws and preventing
underage drinking. State EUDL programs can play an important role in stimulating and
supporting systematic youth DUI enforcement efforts in their states.

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