|Health Factors:||Alcohol & Drug Use|
|Decision Makers:||Local Government State Government Federal Government|
|Population Reach:||50-99% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.
Law enforcement officers use breath testing checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints, to stop drivers and assess their level of alcohol impairment. There are two types of checkpoints: selective breath testing (SBT), where officers must have reason to suspect a driver has been drinking before testing; and random breath testing (RBT), where officers randomly select and test drivers for blood alcohol levels. RBT is not used in the United States (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Checkpoints may be publicized through paid or unpaid media coverage, or occur without publicity.
There is strong evidence that sobriety checkpoints reduce alcohol-impaired driving, alcohol-related crashes, and associated fatal and non-fatal injuries, especially when they are highly publicized (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Positive effects have been shown for both RBT (IAS-Anderson 2006, CG-Motor vehicle injury) and SBT (CG-Motor vehicle injury).
The largest reduction in crashes often occurs in the first three to six months of checkpoint implementation. A review of Australian checkpoints suggests that testing all drivers stopped at a checkpoint may increase the checkpoint’s effectiveness (Erke 2009).
Sobriety checkpoints are also a suggested strategy to reduce consumption among underage youth (RAND-Imm 2007). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects on underage drinking.
Sobriety checkpoints are conducted in all but 12 states, although frequency and other specifics vary (GHSA-Sobriety checkpoints 2015).
Sobriety checkpoints are prohibited by Wisconsin state statute (GHSA-Sobriety checkpoints 2015).
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