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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Alcohol has been associated with traffic crashes for more than 100 years, as indicated by the publication of the first scientific report on the effect of drinking by operators of “motorized wagons” in 1904. This chapter presents an overview of the status of policies and programs designed to reduce highway crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Alcohol safety programs are reviewed under three headings: primary prevention, secondary prevention, and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention covers programs directed at reducing the high-risk drinking that leads to impaired driving, including programs directed at preventing drinking by youths aged 20 and younger and at preventing service to obviously intoxicated individuals. Secondary prevention covers programs directed at separating drinking from driving through law enforcement, public information programs, and driver licensing regulations. Finally, tertiary prevention focuses on programs directed at preventing identified drinking drivers from future impaired driving through license sanctions, vehicle actions, treatment programs, and monitoring systems.

Keywords: Alcohol availability, impaired driving laws, enforcement, breath testing, alcohol ignition interlocks, technology, monitoring, blood alcohol concentration limit, sobriety checkpoints

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