News Release 

A community-level intervention reduces alcohol-related crashes

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

Research News

New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation shows that a community-level alcohol intervention in California resulted in a 17% reduction in alcohol-involved crashes among drivers aged 15-30.

The research study assessed an intervention aimed at reducing excessive drinking and harm among teens and young adults, including driving under the influence. Twenty-four California cities were chosen at random for the study with 12 cities then randomly assigned the intervention and 12 cities assigned as controls.

Interventions included sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and undercover operations to reduce service of alcohol to intoxicated bar patrons, with all interventions accompanied by high visibility to raise public awareness. The effect of these efforts translates into about 310 fewer crashes across the intervention cities.

Says lead author, Dr. Robert Saltz: "The impact of alcohol control policies, whether at the city, state, or national level, ultimately depends on local enforcement. Even though numerous strategies to reduce alcohol-impaired driving have been employed over the years, the study shows that enhanced alcohol interventions involving partnerships of community health and law enforcement agencies can further reduce alcohol-impaired driving and related consequences among young people."


Source: Saltz RF, Paschall MJ, O'Hara SE. Effects of a Community-Level Intervention on Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes in California Cities: A Randomized Trial. Am J Prev Med. 2020 Nov 18:S0749-3797(20)30388-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.08.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33221142.

This research is open access and was funded by the State of California and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

PIRE is an independent, nonprofit organization merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to create solutions that improve the health, safety and well-being of individuals, communities, and nations around the world.

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) of PIRE is one of 16 centers sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), of the National Institutes of Health, and is the only one that specializes in prevention. PRC's focus is on conducting research to better understand the social and physical environments that influence individual behavior that lead to alcohol and drug misuse.

The Resource Link for Community Action provides information and practical guidance to state and community agencies and organizations, policy makers, and members of the public who are interested in combating alcohol and other drug abuse and misuse.


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