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 Law Enforcement Fact Sheet from MADD

Law Enforcement Programs: A Key To Stopping Drunk Driving

 Sobriety Checkpoints & Saturation Patrols

  • Sobriety checkpoints reduce alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Centers For Disease Control researchers showed crash and fatality reductions from 18 to 24%.

  • Sobriety checkpoints are a powerful deterrent to drinking and driving, especially when well publicized.7

  • More than 75% of the public supports sobriety checkpoints to help combat drunk driving.
     Also, 62% of Americans want sobriety checkpoints to be used more often.

  • 39 states and Washington, D.C., allow sobriety checkpoints. All other states allow
    saturation patrols.


  • Sobriety checkpoint: law enforcement evaluates drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at certain points on the roadway. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence, such as every other vehicle or every fourth, fifth or sixth vehicle. Sobriety checkpoints must display warning signs to motorists. Police must have a reason to believe the driver stopped at a checkpoint has been drinking before a breath test can be conducted.

  • Saturation patrol: concentrated enforcement effort that target impaired drivers by
    observing moving violations such as reckless driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and
    others. A saturation patrol is generally spread over a larger geographic area than a
    sobriety checkpoint.

 Seat Belt Use/Mobilizations

  • 76% of people who are fatally injured in impaired driving crashes are not wearing seat belts.

  • Seat belt use of 90% is found and exceeded in Canada, Australia and many Northern
    Europe countries.

  • 25% of drivers who do not use seat belts also engage in high-risk behaviors, such as
    drinking and driving. Primary seat belt laws increase usage rates for higher-risk drivers to a greater extent than the average driver.

  • Wearing seat belts reduces the risk of fatal injury by 45% and the risk of serious injury by

  • Approximately 75% of Americans use seat belts. For every one percentage point rise in
    seat belt use, an additional 280 lives can be saved.

  • 18 states and Washington, D.C. have a primary enforcement seat belt law.

  • The only proven way to significantly increase belt use is through strong and well-enforced

  • Passage of a primary enforcement seat belt law raises seat belt use by 9 to 14 percentage points.

  • The national "Click It or Ticket"mobilization campaign (May 2002) yielded an average
     increase in seat belt use of nearly 9 percentage points in states using the full
    implementation model.

  • According to the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign, seat belt use increased 14 percentage points (from 61% to 75%), 39 million more Americans buckle up and 3,780
    lives have been saved each year since the campaign started in 1997.

  1. portation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


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