According to Science, Traffic Stops Are Best DUI Deterrents
December 30, 2014
Is it a moral obligation for you? Or is it the thought of getting pulled over for DUI?
While many of you might say, “It’s a little of both, Sean,” science has also spoken.
According to a study conducted by a scientist with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, when it comes to enforcement efforts to deter drunk driving, traffic stops are clutch.
The study, titled, “The Relationship of Impaired-Driving Enforcement Intensity to Drinking and Driving on the Roads” was published recently in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and concluded that – in the sample communities – the number of traffic stops/DUI arrests per capita were closely associated with the odds of people there drinking and driving. Not even requiring ignition interlock devices on the cars of offenders has had this high of an impact, though one study seems to have found that it does make some difference.
Here’s another interesting tidbit from the study: In its sample communities, drivers living in a municipality with fewer than 228 traffic stops during the observation period were 3.8 times more likely to have a BAC of .08 percent (the legal limit for intoxication in West Virginia and Pennsylvania).
The authors of the study attributed the correlation to traffic enforcement visibility.
Which means? According to the study, the findings could help local law enforcement agencies tweak or beef up their traffic enforcement programs in an effort to reduce the number of DUIs in their communities.
In my experience as a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer, it reinforces what many of us already knew. While nobody thinks drinking and driving is a prudent idea, it is far less tempting when a person knows there is a DUI checkpoint planned.
It’s odd if you think about it, how knowing there are laws on the books against drunk driving doesn’t stop people from doing it. Neither, apparently, does knowing what the consequences are if you’re caught. But the knowledge that the local cops are setting up a checkpoint in your area does. It’s opposite of what one might expect. Perhaps there’s a bit of the rebel in all of us.
There have been other recommendations to lower the number of DUI’s, as well, such as lowering the legal limit from 0.08 percent BAC to 0.05 percent.
A DUI case can have some of the most severe consequences if you are convicted. Apart from permanent criminal records, you will be imposed with substantial fines, a potential period of imprisonment and even suspension of your driver's license according to your circumstances. However, the impact of a DUI conviction can go to a greater extent than what is mandated by the court. You may be subjected to various issues such as maintaining or procuring proper means of employment or even a professional licensure.
The best way to mitigate such penalties is by contacting a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer. Contact an experienced lawyer who will be able to analyze chemical and technical evidence and also holds a strong passion for defending the rights of their clients if you want to avert the worst outcomes of a DUI conviction. But, let’s hope you won’t have to face such charges because of the efficient traffic stops situated at the crucial areas of the state.
Whether you live in a place like Morgantown or Pittsburgh, everyone likely knows of a local police force famous for traffic stops. And the people who live and travel through those areas? They slow down. They make sure they are wearing their seatbelts. They use their turn signals. And they don’t drink and drive.
It will be interesting to see if this study helps garner more grant money for enforcement efforts – which, while effective, can also be expensive.