Written by


Guest Author – February 2024

Chief Danny Sharp

A Message from Retired Chief Danny Sharp
Be Your Department’s Leader

Impaired driving is a dangerous and violent crime. Law enforcement leaders must be vocal and visible about the need to address impaired driving in their communities. They cannot be spectators in the arena they have chosen to engage. Simply put, if you allow it, you condone it.

Any worthy cause needs a champion. Law enforcement leaders must be the champions in the cause to prevent injury and death caused by impaired drivers. It is not enough to merely give lip service to this dangerous behavior. It is extremely important for law enforcement leaders to be knowledgeable about the impact of impaired driving in their respective communities and the surrounding areas. Once armed with the facts, this information must be shared with community leaders and the community as a whole. Victim survivors of impaired driving crashes come from all walks of life. The impaired driver is indiscriminate when it comes to victims.

Once the scope of the problem has been identified, there must be a plan with measurable outcomes communicated to the community and agency members. If there is an area that will get more enforcement and visibility than others, steps must be taken to communicate this information specifically within those areas. It is extremely important that the “why” of the plan is explained and understood. This will lead to “buy-in” from the community, as well as agency members.

Upon post implementation, results need to be quantified and communicated with the community. This should be updated regularly and should highlight any trends. Internally, the champion must be seen as passionate and committed to preventing injury and death. After all, there is nothing more important for public safety than saving lives.

Editor’s note: reprinted from the MADD Impaired Driving Toolkit: A Law Enforcement Leaders’s Guide to Saving Lives. The toolkit can be found by Clicking Here, or at the QR Code.


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