Police Enforcement Intensity & DUI

Various articles have been written exploring the associations between increased police activities and a reduction in DUI related crashes and fatalities. A review by James Fell and colleagues attempted to quantitatively measure increased policing efforts and determine if there was a relationship or reduction in DUI’s and DUI’s resulting in crash or jury; number of checkpoints, special DUI/DWI patrols, and arrests are all variables that were considered in the analysis. Various other law enforcement strategies were consiDUI Checkpoint | DUI Criminal Attorneydered: specific deterrence, general deterrence, highly visible traffic enforcement, enforcement presence, and overall traffic enforcement.

Specific deterrence refers to the annual number of DUI arrests per capita within the jurisdiction. General deterrence examined the frequency and duration of field sobriety checkpoints. Highly visible traffic enforcement looked at the annual number of traffic stops per capita. Enforcement presence is defined in the study as the number of sworn police officers per capita. Overall traffic enforcement was focused on the annual number of other traffic citations, examples include: warnings, seatbelt violations, speeding tickets and other moving violations. Each of these variables was compared together and individually to the rates of DUI. The 2007 National Roadside Survey, which is a measure of DUI enforcement activity provided by various police departments, provided all data.

Researchers found that more arrests was associated with a lower ratio of DUI and DWI related incidents. More specifically, a 10% increase in DUI arrests was associated with only a 1% reduction in DUI crashes. Sobriety checkpoints had no effect on DUI accident rates per capita.

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