Trends in Drinking-Driving at Night: A Comparison of the Four Roadside Surveys of the Fairfax Alcohol Safety Action Project

Report No: 75-R52

Published in 1975

About the report:

As part of the Fairfax Alcohol Safety Action Project (ASAP), staff members of the Virginia. Highway and Transportation Research Council, acting in their role as evaluators of the project, have conducted four nighttime roadside surveys in Fairfax, Virginia. A baseline survey was conducted in January 1972 prior to the start of ASAP operations (February 1972), a second survey in October 1972, a third in October 1973, and a fourth in October 1974. The ASAP concept recognizes the major role that alcohol plays in fatal and serious highway crashes, and the project consists of countermeasures designed to identify drunken drivers, remove them from the road, and refer them to proper educational or rehabilitation programs. The ultimate objective of the ASAP is to reduce the number of fatalities, personal injuries, and property damage accidents caused by the drinking driver. The purpose of the nighttime roadside surveys of randomly selected drivers is to provide a secondary measure of the project's effectiveness in reducing the incidence of driving while under the influence of alcohol. This report compares the findings of the four surveys with particular emphasis on the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of sampled drivers. It appears that there has been an increase in public knowledge regarding the ASAP project and the presumptive limit in Virginia. However, there is no evidence from the roadside surveys to indicate that the Fairfax ASAP has been successful in reducing the incidence of drunken driving as measured by the percentages of drivers above the presumptive limit.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

Thomas J. Smith

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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