Guest Author – October 2023


Ron Replogle
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager

Drivers impaired by alcohol and other drugs have been, and continue to be, a major highway and public safety problem. In 2019, there were 10,142 fatalities in crashes involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, accounting for 28 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. That number increased to 11,718 in 2020 and 13,384 in 2021, for a 28% increase for the two-year period. The 2021 number represents 31% of the 42,939 total crash fatalities.

Impaired driving arrests as reported to the FBI in 2020, were down over 50% from ten years ago. In 2010, the FBI reported 1,140,333 alcohol impaired driving arrests. In 2020, that number has dropped to 560,918 for a decrease of 51%.

We are currently trending in the wrong direction in both statistical categories. There is obviously a direct correlation in enforcement being down and crashes, injuries and fatalities being on the rise.

As part of MADD’s ongoing support of law enforcement, through our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, and with a NHTSA Cooperative Agreement, MADD produced the Impaired Driving Toolkit, “A Law Enforcement Leader’s Guide to Saving Lives”. The development of this toolkit by MADD is a crucial step towards promoting and reinforcing the importance of impaired driving prevention among law enforcement leaders. It serves as a comprehensive resource that equips law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools, strategies, and best practices to effectively address impaired driving and keep our roads safe.

By equipping law enforcement agencies with the necessary tools and resources, it enhances their capabilities and reinforces the importance of keeping our roads safe from the dangers of impaired driving. With this approach, MADD aims to help create a unified and consistent approach to impaired driving prevention across different jurisdictions. The toolkit includes a range of resources, such as training, educational materials, data analysis tools, enforcement strategies, and community engagement initiatives. These resources not only enhance the knowledge and skills of law enforcement leaders but also enables them to effectively communicate the dangers of impaired driving to the public and collaborate with other stakeholders in the community.

Promoting the use of this toolkit among law enforcement leaders sends a strong message about the commitment to prioritize impaired driving prevention. It emphasizes the importance of enforcing laws related to impaired driving, conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and employing effective strategies to deter and apprehend impaired drivers.

Furthermore, the toolkit serves as a platform for sharing success stories, case studies, and lessons learned from different law enforcement agencies. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement and learning, allowing agencies to adapt and adopt successful practices from their counterparts.

MADD’s existing law enforcement committee played a significant role in the development of the impaired driving toolkit. The committee members met in person once and held remote meetings as needed to develop and refine the toolkit. Their expertise and experience in law enforcement and traffic safety were instrumental in shaping the contents of the toolkit.

A copy of the Impaired Driving Toolkit, “A Law Enforcement Leader’s Guide to Saving Lives” can be found at the following link, or by scanning the below QR code.


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