Document Detail

Drinking drivers missed at sobriety checkpoints.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9273917     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Sobriety checkpoints are an effective deterrent to alcohol-impaired driving although a substantial proportion of drinking drivers who pass through checkpoints are missed. The present study was designed to determine the extent to which police officers correctly identify individuals with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.05% at checkpoints, and if there are characteristics of drivers, vehicles or checkpoints that are associated with decreased chances of detection. METHOD: To determine which drivers are likely to be missed, drivers not detained by police for additional sobriety evaluation were interviewed and voluntary breath samples were provided at 156 sobriety checkpoints in North Carolina. RESULTS: More than 50% of the drivers with BACs in excess of 0.08% and almost 90% of drivers with BACs in excess of 0.05% were not detained by officers. For drivers with BACs of 0.05% or higher, women and those 35 or younger were more likely to be missed than were men and older drivers. Drivers without passengers were more likely to be missed than those with passengers. Drivers were also more likely to be missed during weekend checkpoints. Similar results were found for drivers with BACs at or above 0.08%. CONCLUSIONS: Alerting police officers to characteristics of drinking drivers more likely to be missed may improve detection rates. In addition, passive alcohol sensors could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of sobriety checkpoints in detecting drinking drivers.
J K Wells; M A Greene; R D Foss; S A Ferguson; A F Williams
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of studies on alcohol     Volume:  58     ISSN:  0096-882X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Stud. Alcohol     Publication Date:  1997 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1997-11-24     Completed Date:  1997-11-24     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503813     Medline TA:  J Stud Alcohol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  513-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Virginia 22201, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking*
Automobile Driving*
Breath Tests*
Ethanol / blood*
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies
Substance Abuse Detection*
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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