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1 Conference Summary Report 2013 SOUTHERN C ONNECTICUT C ONFERENCE ON THE P REVENTION OF A LCOHOL-I MPAIRED D RIVING: THE CROSSROADS OF TECHNOLOGY AND PRACTICE

2 1 The 2013 Southern Connecticut Conference on the Prevention of Alcohol-Impaired Driving: The Crossroads of Technology and Practice Conference Summary Report The conference was held on March 28, It brought together a wide range of community focused professionals, law enforcement officials, and citizen advocates who have the potential and expertise to create traffic safety outreach programs that focus on the prevention of alcohol impaired driving. The conference was sponsored by Yale University School of Medicine s Department of Emergency Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital s Department of Trauma and supported by a Connecticut Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety grant. Conference Overview The conference consisted of nine presentations that broadly covered the following topics specific to the local, state, and national highway safety priorities: Presentation 1: Opening Keynote Presentation: Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving: Can Technology Help Us Regain the Momentum? Anne McCartt, PhD, Senior Vice President Research Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Provided an overview of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage from crashes on highways Provided an overview of The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which conducts scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles Major improvements in engineering have made cars safer than older models from 50 years ago. Additionally, efforts such as imposed speed limits and high visibility law enforcement have made a difference in saving lives Alcohol continues to be a persistent danger and contributor to injury and fatal crashes and no single remedy is likely to be enough Discussion of expanding the use of in-vehicle technology such as the ignition interlock as an effective method of deterrence. IIHS study shows that requiring

3 2 interlocks for everyone convicted of alcohol-impaired driving, not just repeat offenders, can save lives Discussion of additional impaired-driving prevention technology such as Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) that uses innovative and advanced in-vehicle technology to detect alcohol in a variety of ways such as transdermal detection or through breath testing Presentation 2: Alcohol Impaired Driving Prevention Efforts and Success Lt. Joseph Witkowski, District Manager Hill South, New Haven Police Department Description of road safety conditions in New Haven thriving entertainment scene leads to increased numbers of alcohol impaired drivers on weekends Compared to drugs, alcohol is the major issue with impaired driving in the City of New Haven. Discussion of three vital components needed for an impaired driving prevention program: enforcement, prevention, and partnerships. NHPD practices high visibility enforcement and high visibility saturation patrols in targeted areas, which results in removing impaired drivers from the streets as well as screening for other crimes and public safety threats Discussion of general deterrence, or the fear of arrest, as effective for prevention Checkpoints that are highly visible or receive media coverage can naturally deter impaired driving in that area Discussed the importance of community partnerships to provide education and disseminate prevention materials as well as media engagement to increase visibility of drunk driving prevention efforts such as checkpoints

4 3 Presentation 3: The Connecticut Crash Data Repository: Development and Practical Use for Communities Eric Jackson, PhD, Director Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center (CTSRC) The mission of the CTSRC is to support the Connecticut Department of Transportation in developing and maintaining a state of the art crash data entry, collection, and safety analysis system The goals of the CTSRC are to; 1. Provide efficient tools for the collection and analysis of crash data; 2. Track and document safety improvements and needs in the state; 3. Develop outreach programs to target Connecticut specific/identified safety concerns, and; 4. Conduct transportation safety research that has state, national and global implications and applications Demonstration of the web-based Crash Data Repository, an online database for crashes in Connecticut, found at Presentation 4: CT DOT Collaborations in Alcohol Impaired Driving Prevention Edmund Hedge, Law Enforcement Liaison, Connecticut Department of Transportation 47 people are killed every day in an alcohol-related crash and 41% of all fatalities are alcohol-related Discussion of successes: stronger BAC laws, high visibility enforcement checkpoints, saturation patrols, routine patrols, sanctions (license suspension, vehicle ignition interlocks, etc.) To help address impaired driving the CT Highway Safety Office has; 1. Coordinated DUI Prosecutor as a resource to Law Enforcement in DUI cases; 2. Conducted media campaigns on the dangers, risks and severe consequences of driving while impaired; 3. Awarded four grant applications to local police departments for DUI command vehicles and 1 State Police DUI Command vehicle

5 4 Description of the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program Process where trained police officers make DUI arrests and then contact Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) for drug influence evaluation Description of Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) mobiles and their role in seeing a slow decrease in drunk driving Presentation 5: State Alcohol Policy Update and Implications John DeCarlo, PhD, Associate Professor Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, University of New Haven Some studies suggest that random patrols don t work and there is a need to target criminality of place. Reliance on dialing 911 has made us a lights and sirens culture. There should be a move towards true prevention to stop crime before it happens Current policing methods use 3 R s: Reaction, Rapid response, and Random patrols; but this doesn t work, and there aren t enough police to make it work To account for the loss in the number of police officers, communities need to make sustainable changes

6 5 Presentation 6: Keynote Presentation: Preventing Impaired Driving: Opportunities and Political Will James Fell, MS, Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation Discussion on the history of Alcohol-Impaired Driving in the U.S. and the numbers of people killed and injured in DUI crashes and the billions of dollars in annual costs to society they cause There is an overall decline in drunk driving across the U.S. caused by; 1. Deterrence, including enforcement practices, administrative license revocation, and lower BAC limits; 2. Raising the drinking age to 21; 3. Increased public awareness and activism; 4. Reduction in per capita alcohol consumption; 5. Socioeconomic & demographic factors Description of devices that stop drunk driving, a balance must be found between the most extreme (intrusion) and the least extreme devices Laws to curb drinking have worked in the past and technology is good, but something better is needed There is a need to be better about enforcing underage drinking laws, trying to get technology into cars, better enforcement of the.08 law, and a reduction to.05 BAC Research shows most people are impaired at.05. When it was first proposed to reduce the BAC to.08 it was strongly opposed, but now society considers it normal; a new champion is needed to raise the public will to lower the legal BAC to.05

7 6 Presentation 7: National and Statewide Prevention Efforts and Activities Janice Heggie-Margolis, Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Connecticut State Office MADD has evolved from its original origin and has ongoing program development and expansion Description of Connecticut law regarding the use of ignition inter-lock and a demonstration of ignition interlock Introduction and description of MADD s new youth and parent education programs, The Power of Parents & The Power of Youth Parents are the biggest factor in a teen deciding to drink or not, the teen s peers are second Presentation 8: Pattern of Recidivism Related to Case Dispositions of Alcohol- Impaired Driving Offenses in Maryland Neil Chaudhary, PhD, VP Preusser Research Group, Inc 37% of fatalities in the U.S. involve a driver with BAC 0.01, and 1/3 rd of drivers arrested/convicted for alcoholimpaired driving in the U.S. have been previously arrested or convicted In Maryland, drivers prosecuted for DUI are far less likely to drive under the influence in the future, while people that are not prosecuted or not found guilty have a high likelihood of doing so again

8 7 Presentation 9: M.A.D.E. in Madison: Building a Healthier Community Catherine Barden, Coalition Coordinator, Madison Alcohol and Drug Education Coalition (M.A.D.E. in Madison) Madison Alcohol and Drug Education (M.A.D.E.) in Madison is a community organization with the goal of creating a community that encourages youth to make healthy drinking decisions It is significantly easier for an adolescent to become addicted to alcohol and become an alcoholic than an adult MADE addresses Madison s underage drinking problem by creating partnerships, educating the community, training and supporting youth leaders, participating in a statewide network, and raising awareness Summary: The conference agenda blended researchers, practitioners, and safety advocates giving the audience a broad overview of the alcohol impaired driving issue from a wide range of perspectives. While there are technology driven strategies for prevention, there continues to be challenges in moving forward with a new wave of behavioral change. The dialogue at this conference was important and served as an opportunity to advance research, programs, policy and practice to further prevent alcohol impaired driving.

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