Driving Impaired

Resource Guide

In an effort to help combat and manage the number of alcohol and drug related driving offenses that occur every year, drug impaired courts are becoming more prevalent within our court system.  This topic provides resources to assist state courts, policymakers, law enforcement agents, and those who provide treatment to drivers convicted of an impaired-driving offense.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.

Featured Links


This is a summary of the laws for all 50 states that identifies the legal and administrative consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction.

Impaired Driving Fact Sheet.

This Web site by the Center for Disease Control lays out the statistics underlying state laws pertaining to driving under the influence, as well as bringing to light CDC research on the subject. Included in the statistics is a list of the groups most at risk to be DUI offenders.


Robertson, Robyn et al. Alcohol Interlock Programs: Vendor Oversight. (September 2011). Traffic Injury Research Foundation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This guide contains a series of practical steps to guide the development process and highlights relevant issues that require consideration as part of any vendor oversight strategy. It was created with input from a panel of seasoned program and industry experts who are knowledgeable about vendor oversight practices for alcohol interlocks and other monitoring devices.

Along for the Ride: Reducing Driver Distractions. (April 2002). Final Report of the National Conference of State Legislatures` Driver Focus and Technology Forum This report is a guide for lawmakers concerning driver distraction and traffic safety.  It provides background information from the nation's leading experts about issues such as the safety of telecommunications technology in motor vehicles, emergency-response systems, driver-education programs, data collection, particular drivers who use technology in motor vehicles, and legislative initiatives.
Beirness, D. J. Best Practices for Alcohol Interlock Programs. (2001). Ottawa, Ontario: Traffic Injury Research Foundation This report studies the effectiveness of alcohol-interlock programs and how they can be implemented in other localities.  The document proceeds to outline the optimal means by which these programs have been and may be placed into society as a means of curbing recidivism.
Distracted Drivers Pose Safety Hazard, According to New UNC Study. (May 2001). University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center Press release discussing a University of North Carolina study. Includes a link to the report (opens PDF file).  This article discusses a study completed by the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center.  The study found that drivers were most often distracted by something outside of their vehicle, followed by distractions caused by adjusting the radio or CD player.  Distractions such as other passengers and cell-phone use were also factors.  
Wallace, David J. Do DWI Courts Work?. (2008). Future Trends in State Courts.

DWI courts are increasing in number exponentially across the country. Modeled after the effective approach of drug courts, DWI court evaluations appear to show impressive results on reducing recidivisim?

Keith, Ann L. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Courts. (2002). Future Trends in State Courts.

The mission of sobriety and DUI courts is 'to make offenders accountable for their actions, bringing about a behavioral change that ends recidivism, stops the abuse of alcohol, and protects the public; to treat the victims of DUI offenders in a fair and just way; and to educate the public as to the benefits of sobriety and DUI courts for the communities they serve.'

Flango, Victor. DWI Courts: The Newest Problem-Solving Courts. (2004). Future Trends in State Courts.

This article describes the work of new-porblem solving courts created to deal specifically with the high incidence of traffic violations involving individuals under the influence of alcohol.

Marlow, Douglas B. Introductory Handbook for DWI Court Program Evaluations. (September 2009). This handbook is designed to provide courts with the knowledge to understand what is needed to do a proper study of DWI court programs.
Other Resources--Driver Distraction Internet Forum. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Lists links to outside resources provided by the NHTSA.  This page contains links to other resources and Web sites related to driver distraction and safety. There are also additional related papers available in the open literature, but not published specifically for this site. 
Protecting You, Protecting Me. This Web site directs users to a MADD-sponsored program to "reach children before they have formed their attitudes and opinions about alcohol use by youth and their role in preventing it."
Robertson, Robyn et al. State of Knowledge: Female Drunk Drivers. (November 2011). Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

The purpose of this report is to provide a current state of knowledge about drunk driving among female drivers. Its objectives are to describe the magnitude of the female drunk driver problem, the characteristics of these offenders, the current involvement of female drivers testing positive for alcohol in fatal crashes, and effective strategies that are available and being applied to manage this population.

Flango, Victor E. and Carol R. Flango. What's Happening with DWI Courts?. (2006). Future Trends in State Courts.

This article discusses the continued growth of DWI courts in the states with a more diversified funding base, the use of technology to reduce the cost of monitoring clients, and includes a table listing DWI/DUI courts as of 2006.

Cellular Phones

Cell Phone Driving Laws. This is a detailed survey done by the Governor's Highway Safety Association covering the current state cell phone driving laws.
Sundeen, Matt. Cell Phones and Highway Safety: 2003 State Legislative Update. (August 2007). National Conference of State Legislatures An article describing the usage of hands-free cellular phones in transportation.  In addition, the work discusses various legislative efforts to regulate the usage of cellular phones while driving, and recent moves to disseminate safety information about the usage of said devices on American highways.
Comments on Hours of Service of Commercial Drivers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (August 2000). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety This article is a letter concerning provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) notice of proposed rulemaking concerning work-hours of commercial drivers.  While some aspects of the proposal are supported, others increase the chance of commercial-truck accidents.  The letter includes information concerning important policies for commercial-truck drivers, such as a minimum number of off-duty hours and a maximum driving time period of 10 hours.      
Multitasking Statement. (March 2012). National Safety Council This is a statement released by the National Safety Council that emphasizes that a driver's first priority is the safe operation of his or her motor vehicle.  It states that while cell-phone use provides many benefits, they should be used only with the driver's discretion and if absolutely necessary.  It also urges producers of such technology to provide education for their consumers on using such products while operating a vehicle.  At the bottom of the page there are links to more resources on cell-phone use.       

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol and Drugs. (2010). Includes links to information on underage drinking, administrative license suspension, alcohol deterrence and enforcement, and state laws on driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as well as other items relevant to drunken driving.
Driving Under the Influence. City of Reno, Nevada This website serves as a representative example of an urban community's response to impaired driving.  Through a Frequently Asked Questions format, the site seeks to alleviate any possible quandaries a person might have.
Fatality Facts: Alcohol. (2010). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Statistical information on drunk-driving traffic fatalities.
Impaired Driving Division. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Contains links to reports on open container laws, designated driver programs, caring for alcohol-impaired patients, sobriety checkpoints, and using technology to prevent the sale of alcohol to those who are underage, as well as other resources that can be accessed via the Impaired Driving Division’s home page.
Impaired Driving Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control This Web site lays out the statistics underlying state laws pertaining to driving under the influence, as well as bringing to light CDC research on the subject.  Included in the statistics is a list of the groups most at risk to be DUI offenders.


Cheesman II, Fred, Denise Dancy, Ann Jones. and Don Hardenbergh. An Examination of Recidivism of Offenders Receiving Services from the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. (August 2004). NCSC and Court Works.

There are 24 Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) District Offices operating throughout Virginia. The report provides an assessment of their success in reducing the incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Van Duizend, Richard. Background Paper on the Effectiveness of Sanctions in DUI Cases. (October 2006). NCSC for the Arizona DUI Summit.

This paper addresses Arizona's experience with sanctions available, research and experience in other jurisdictions, and enhancements that Arizona might consider when imposing sanctions in DUI cases.

Dog Passes Owner`s Alcohol Test. (August 2003). BBC News A German man failed his DUI test, but his dog passed it with the exception of the nose-touching test.
DUI/DWI Laws. (February 2014). This is a summary of the laws for all 50 states that identifies the legal and administrative consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction.
Simpson, Herb, and Robyn Robertson DWI System Improvements for Dealing with Hard Core Drinking Drivers: Enforcement. (2001). This report is focuses on indentifying and dealing with chronic drunk drivers.

Model Drug DUI Courts

Fell, James, A. Scott Tppetts, and Elizabeth Langston. An Evaluation of the Three Georgia DUI Courts. (March 2011). Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

This report documents a process evaluation of the first few years of DUI court activities and then describes an impact evaluation that was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the three courts.

Tauber, Jeffrey. DUI/Drug Courts: Defining a National Strategy. (1999). Alexandria, VA: National Drug Court Institute An article which questions whether or not the drug court model can work for drunk drivers.  The document begins by comparing practices in the two and concludes by stating that some of the measures taken by harsh drug courts would be beneficial as an addition to the campaign currently being waged against drunk driving.
National Association of Drug Court Professionals and National Drug Court Institute. This is the Web site for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.


Breaking the Juvenile Drug-Crime Cycle: A Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers. (May 2001). This document is part of a larger report on the topic of youth programs designed to intervene in the drug-crime cycle.
Campaign Safe and Sober. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration This Web site includes a list of links to drunk-driving prevention programs.  
Hedlund, James, and Anne McCartt. Drunk Driving: Seeking Additional Solutions. (2001). Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety This contemporary study includes statistics and demographic information on drunk drivers.  Included are sections on drunk driving fatalities, charges, and legislation.
Evaluation of Enhanced Sanctions for Higher BACS: Summary of States` Laws. (May 2001). Traffic Tech: Technology Transfer Series, no. 248. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Looks at state laws where harsher punishments are inflicted for those that surpass an upper-bounds BAC threshold.  
Traffic Safety Training Program. (2002). Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council Designed to help state prosecutors prosecute traffic safety violations.  Includes a list of the purposes and objectives of the program.


Definition of Telematics. Webopedia.com "Refers to the broad industry related to using computers in concert with telecommunications systems. This includes dial-up service to the Internet as well as all types of networks that rely on a telecommunications system to transport data."
Use of Advanced In-Vehicle Technologies. (August 2007). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Includes information on cell phones, navigation systems, night-vision systems, wireless Internet, and entertainment systems.  
Workload Managers: The Future of Telematics. (April 2001). UMTRI Research Review 32, no. 2 Discusses how technology is being developed to give drivers critical information without distracting them.