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Research Update: Implementing Impaired Driving Countermeasures - Putting Research Into Action

Transportation Research Board. Implementing impaired driving countermeasures: Putting research into action. Transportation Research Circular 2005;Number E-C072. Available from: [1.05MB, 167 pages]

There have been impressive reductions in alcohol–related traffic deaths in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world—however, progress has stalled. A variety of effective strategies for traffic safety and policy have been identified through research and evaluation, and many have been widely adopted; likely contributing to the progress that has been made. However, other potentially significant strategies have not been widely implemented.

In August 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Injury Center co–sponsored a symposium, “Implementing Impaired Driving Countermeasures: Putting Research Into Action,” organized by the Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board to begin dialogue about how to more fully implement research–based strategies. Researchers, law enforcement, policy makers, judicial representatives, advocacy organizations, media experts, and others attended the meeting.

Symposium presenters described strategies that were effective in experimental testing or in field implementation; the demonstrated level of effectiveness; and the level of implementation across the country. Participants discussed the barriers that make implementation difficult, and offered ways to overcome such challenges. Topics included:

  • Applying the diffusion–of-innovations model when translating research into policy and practice;
  • Legislative challenges in passing primary seat belt enforcement laws;
  • Enforcement challenges in implementing sobriety checkpoints, passive sensors, and preliminary breath testers;
  • Judicial and administrative challenges in applying vehicle sanctions and ignition interlock devices; and
  • Alcohol policy challenges in increasing alcohol taxes, implementing responsible beverage service, and applying other approaches.

CDC's Injury Center has a limited supply of print copies of symposium proceedings. To request a print copy, send an e-mail to

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