Drunk Driving and the National Driver Register

At the 0.08 BAC level of alcohol, braking, steering, lane changing, and judgment are degraded and the driving performance of virtually all drivers is substantially impaired. During the debate on reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs, an amendment that would require each state either to enact a 0.08 BAC law or face the loss of a portion of its Federal Highway Trust Fund monies passed the Senate and will likely be considered in the House. This proposal raises questions about the effectiveness and impacts of a 0.08 BAC law, the rights of states versus the federal government, and alternative ways to encourage the states to adopt stronger impaired driving countermeasures.

NOV DRUNK DRIVING AND THE NATIONAL DRIVER REGISTER U P D A T E D 08/05/85 BY Migdon Segal Science Policy Research Division Congressional Research Service NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERS~TY LIBRARY 1985 CRS- 1 ISSUE DEFINITION Drunk driving i s o n e of t h e m o s t significant causes of automobile a c c i d e n t s ; g o v e r n m e n t estimates a r e t h a t m o r e than half of a l l f a t a l t r a f f i c a c c i d e n t s a r e alcohol-related. T h e Reagan Administration has pursued a v i g o r o u s anti-drunk driving program. S t a t e g o v e r n m e n t s , w h i c h bear the primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r enforcing d r u n k d r i v i n g l a w s , h a v e been u p g r a d i n g t h e i r e f f o r t s , a i d e d by Federal l e g i s l a t i o n passed in 1 9 8 2 a n d i n 1 9 8 4 w h i c h o f f e r s g r a n t s t o s t a t e programs. T h e g o v e r n m e n t a l effort h a s been f u r t h e r strengthened in r e c e n t y e a r s by t h e g r o w t h of a strong c i t i z e n s ' l o b b y , including s u c h groups a s Mothers A g a i n s t D r u n k Driving. O n e i m p o r t a n t e f f o r t currently u n d e r w a y i n t h i s a r e a i s t h e upgrading of t h e National D r i v e r Register (NDR). T h e N a t i o n a l D r i v e r Register is a n a t i o n w i d e c l e a r i n g h o u s e through which a S t a t e can i d e n t i f y d r i v e r ' s l i c e n s e a p p l i c a n t s w h o h a v e established u n s a f e d r i v i n g r e c o r d s i n o t h e r States. The R e g i s t e r h a s existed s i n c e 1 9 6 0 , b u t h a s b e e n considered i n e f f e c t i v e b e c a u s e i t h a s lacked t h e a b i l i t y t o e x c h a n g e i n f o r m a t i o n e l e c t r o n i c a l l y between the S t a t e s (relying instead on the p o s t a l service). L e g i s l a t i o n enacted i n 1 9 8 2 i s intended t o m o d e r n i z e the NDR. The Reagan Administration a t first favored abolition of t h e NDR f o r f i s c a l r e a s o n s , b u t later changed i t s position and endorsed t h e l e g i s l a t i o n passed by the Congress. A P r e s i d e n t i a l C o m m i s s i o n on D r u n k D r i v i n g w a s a p p o i n t e d i n April 1982. T h e C o m m i s s i o n highlighted public a w a r e n e s s of t h e drunk d r i v i n g problem. I t s f i n a l r e p o r t , published in November 1983, contained numerous r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , i n c l u d i n g t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a n a t i o n w i d e minimum legal d r i n k i n g a g e of 21. I t s work i s n o w being c o n t i n u e d by the National C o m m i s s i o n A g a i n s t Drunk D r i v i n g , a n o n - g o v e r n m e n t group. L e g i s l a t i o n i n t e n d e d to e s t a b l i s h a n a t i o n a l d r i n k i n g a g e of 21 by w i t h o l d i n g F e d e r a l f u n d s from S t a t e s n o t h a v i n g such a l a w w a s passed by the 9 8 t h C o n g r e s s , and signed i n t o l a w o n J u l y 1 7 , 1 9 8 4 a s P.L. 98-363. BACKGROUND AND POLICY ANALYSIS Overview According to N H T S A f s report e n t i t l e d " A l c o h o l i n F a t a l A c c i d e n t s N a t i o n a l Estimates -- U.S.A.," published i n J a n u a r y 1 9 8 3 , 4 6 % of a l l f a t a l a c c i d e n t s a blood a l c o h o l i n v o l v e a n i n t o x i c a t e d driver -- t h a t i s , a d r i v e r with c o n c e n t r a t i o n of 0.10% o r above. An additional 11% involve drivers with blood a l c o h o l l e v e l s below 0.10%, b u t g r e a t e r than zero. T h u s , 5 7 5 of fatal traffic a c c i d e n t s a r e considered t o be a l c o h o l related. S i n c e more than 5 2 , 6 0 0 f a t a l i t i e s (in 4 5 , 0 0 0 accidents) o c c u r r e d d u r i n g t h e y e a r 1980 (from which t h e s e s t a t i s t i c s a r e derived), a p p r o x i m a t e l y 30,000 lives were lost t h a t year in alcohol-related t r a f f i c accidents. W h i l e drunk d r i v i n g has been of c o n c e r n t o a u t o m o t i v e s a f e t y e x p e r t s f o r many y e a r s , g o v e r n m e n t a l a c t i o n o n t h i s problem until r e c e n t l y had been spotty. P e r h a p s t h e most significant Federal program Until this Administration was t h e Alcohol Safety * A c t i o n Program (ASAP), a n effort undertaken by t h e Nixon Administration in 1970-1971. Under t h i s p r o g r a m , t h e the F e d e r a l G o v e r n m e n t funded $ 7 8 m i l l i o n i n g r a n t s to 3 5 l o c a l i t i e s a r o u n d CRS- 2 IB83157 UPDATE-08/05/85 country. T h e s e g r a n t s w e r e i n t e n d e d to e x p l o r e a "systems approach*' t o d r u n k d r i v i n g , c o n c e r n e d with a l l a s p e c t s o f t h e p r o g r a m -- t h e p o l i c e , t h e c o u r t s , r e h a b i l i t a t i o n p r o g r a m s , a n d s o forth. T h e Federal grants were f o r 3-year p e r i o d s ; a f t e r t h e y e x p i r e d , s o m e of t h e p r o g r a m s were t a k e n o v e r by State a n d l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s , w h i l e o t h e r s w e r e dropped. An anti-drunk driving campaign falls within the overall approach of the R e a g a n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n to a u t o s a f e t y ; t h e f o c u s i s o n t h e d r i v e r r a t h e r than on the automobile. The Administration h a s pursued a vigorous anti-drunk d r i v i n g program. Its resolve to do so has been further strengthened by the g r o w t h of a s t r o n g c i t i z e n s ' l o b b y , i n c l u d i n g such g r o u p s a s M o t h e r s A g a i n s t D r u n k D r i v i n g (MADD), a n d s i m i l a r g r o u p s m a d e u p of s t u d e n t s , t r u c k e r s , a n d others. Federal Government Activities T h e P r e s i d e n t i a l C o m m i s s i o n o n Drunk D r i v i n g O n Apr. 1 4 , 1 9 8 2 , P r e s i d e n t R e a g a n e s t a b l i s h e d a P r e s i d e n t i a l C o m m i s s i o n on Drunk Driving. T h e C o m m i s s i o n had a 1 - y e a r charter (later e x t e n d e d t o t h e end of 1983) w i t h t h e p u r p o s e o f h i g h l i g h t i n g public a w a r e n e s s o f the d r u n k d r i v i n g p r o b l e m and d e v e l o p i n g n a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s t o d e a l w i t h t h e s i t u a t i o n . It was created after more than 300 Members of Congress, from both political parties and all regions of the Nation, wrote to the President and suggested that i t b e formed. 32 members and chaired by former D O T The Commission was made up of S e c r e t a r y Volpe. Its membership included. f o u r M e m b e r s of Congress -S e n a t o r s C l a i b o r n e P e l 1 (D-R.I.) a n d R o b e r t D o l e (R-Kan.) a n d R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s M i c h a e l D. B a r n e s (D-Md.) a n d J a m e s V. H a n s e n (R- Utah). T h e remainder o f t h e m e m b e r s h i p , a p p o i n t e d by the President, included political figures, s a f e t y e x p e r t s , and c o n c e r n e d citizens. T h e C o m m i s s i o n issued i t s f i n a l r e p o r t i n N o v e m b e r r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s were: 1983. Its 1. E s t a b l i s h i n g 2 1 a s t h e minimum l e g a l a g e f o r p u r c h a s i n g a l l a l c o h o l i c beverages. 2. E l i m i n a t i o n o f plea-bargaining i n D U I cases. 3. Enforcement of mandatory sanctions for first offenders with more severe penalties for subsequent convictions. 4. Expansion and encouragement of citizen action groups a t the grassroots level, citing the effectiveness of t h e i r work i n n e a r l y every State. 5. U r g i n g S t a t e s to e n a c t l a w p e r t a i n i n g to t h e u s e o f s a f e t y belts a n d c h i l d r e s t r a i n t s a s w e l l a s c o m p l i a n c e w i t h t h e 55 mph s p e e d limit. 6. Education and rehabilitation services for convicted o f f e n d e r s based o n their n e e d s a s d e t e r m i n e d by a pre-sentence i n v e s t i g a t i o n . H e a l t h i n s u r a n c e p r o v i d e r s s h o u l d b e r e q u i r e d to i n c l u d e c o v e r a g e f o r t h e t r e a t m e n t - principal CRS- 3 IB83157 UPDATE-08/05/85 and rehabilitation of alcohol- and drug- dependent persons i n a l l health insurance policies. 7. Victim impact statements and Victim assistance programs recognizing, for the first time, the extent of suffering of drunk driver victims. The work of the Commission i s being continued by a new organization, entitled the "National Commission Against Drunk Driving." The new .commission, unlike its predecessor, is not affiliated with the government; i t is a nonprofit affiliate of the National Safety Council. The chairman of the new of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers commission is V. J. Adduci, president Association. Raising the Drinking Age to 21 Of those killed i n alcohol-related accidents, about 35% were between 1 6 and 2 4 years old, a higher proportion than the 22 percent of the total licensed population in that age group. The legal drinking age varies from State to S t a t e , but it is as low a s 1 8 in some States. During 1 9 8 2 the National Transportation Safety Board, the Presidential Commission o n Drunk D r i v i n g , and tne Congress all went on record as favoring a legal drinking a g e of 21. The NTSB made its recommendation i n August 1982. The Commission made a similar recommendation in December 1982 in its interim r e p o r t , released a t that time in order t o allow the State legislatures to consider it in their early 1983 sessions. I t reconfirmed this recommendation i n its final report. The Congress acted a s part of i t s consideration of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1 9 8 2 , (P.L. 97-424) enacted in December 1982. The bill included a section a s follows: The Congress strongly encourages each State to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons who are less than 21 years of age. NHTSA included a drinking age of 2 1 as one of the 2 1 criteria of which eight must be satisfied in order for a State to qualify for supplemental grants under P.L. 97-364. During the intended to introduced on and H.R. 5383 that is 98th Congress, legislation was introduced and passed promote a nationwide minimum drinking a g e of 21. Bills this subject included H.R. 3870 (Florio), H.R. 4892 (Barnes), (Howard). On June 7 , 1 9 8 4 , the House of Representatives approved the substance of H.R. 5383 a s a n amendment to H.R. 5504, the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1984. This legislation would reduce Federal highway funds by 5 % in F Y 8 7 and 10% in FY88 for States not enacting a minimum drinking a g e of 21. Subsequently, the Reagan Administration announced its support for this legislation; the Administration's previous position had been to favor State action to establish a drinking age limit of 2 1 , but to oppose Federal legislation. Because H.R. 5 5 0 4 contained controversial sections (unrelated to the drinking age provisions) that might have delayed final action, the Senate sponsors of drinking age legislation elected to attach this legislation instead to H.R. 4 6 1 6 , a relatively noncontroversial bill dealing with child restraint programs. The relevant provisions of H.R. 4 6 1 6 , as passed by the CRS- 4 IB83157 UPDATE-08/05/85 S e n a t e , e n c o u r a g e d a minimum n a t i o n a l drinking age of 21 v i a the same reported i n H.R. 5383, s c h e d u l e f o r r e d u c t i o n of F e d e r a l highway f u n d s as i . e . , 5% i n 1987 a n d 1 0 % i n 1988. The S e n a t e v e r s i o n a l s o p r o v i d e d i n c e n t i v e g r a n t s t o encourage S t a t e s t o adopt mandatory drunk d r i v i n g sentencing l a w s and t o improve automated a c c i d e n t recordkeeping. The S e n a t e r e j e c t e d , 62 t o incentive 3 5 , a n a l t e r n a t i v e amendment t o H.R. 4616 t h a t would h a v e k e p t t h e I t t h e n p a s s e d t h e b i l l , by a v o t e of 81 grants but deleted the penalties. t o 1 6 , on J u n e 2 6 , 1984. On J u n e 2 7 , 1 9 8 4 , the House cleared the Senate I t became P.L. 98-363 o n v e r s i o n of H.R. 4616 f o r t h e P r e s i d e n t ' s s i g n a t u r e . J u l y 1 7 , 1984. c i t e d as a primary reason for T h e l a c k o f u n i f o r m i t y among S t a t e s i s F e d e r a l a c t i o n c o n c e r n i n g a minimum d r i n k i n g a g e . Varying d r i n k i n g ages are b e l i e v e d t o e n c o u r a g e young p e o p l e t o d r i v e l o n g d i s t a n c e s t o S t a t e s where rise in nighttime a l c o h o l can be consumed l e g a l l y . This has resulted i n a c r a s h e s i n t h e v i c i n i t y of S t a t e b o r d e r s w i t h d i f f e r e n t minimum drinking "blood ages. P r o p o n e n t s o f a u n i f o r m d r i n k i n g a g e ' h a v e p o p u l a r i z e d t h e term b o r d e r s " i n d i s c u s s i n g t h i s t r a g i c phenomenon. minimum S i n c e t h e p a s s a g e o f P . L . 9 8 - 3 6 3 , many S t a t e s h a v e r e v i s e d t h e i r d r i n k i n g a g e upward t o 21 i n o r d e r t o comply w i t h t h e p r o v i s i o n s of t h a t l a w . A s of August 1 9 8 5 , t h i r t e e n S t a t e s a n d t h e D i s t r i c t of Columbia do n o t have a minimum d r i n k i n g a g e o f 2 1 u n d e r a l l c o n d i t i o n s . These a r e as f o l l o w s : -- Minimum d r i n k i n g a g e o f 1 9 -- I d a h o , I o w a , (6 S t a t e s ) M o n t a n a , W i s c o n s i n , Wyoming. -- Minimum d r i n k i n g a g e o f 1 8 Vermont. (3 S t a t e s ) -- ~ p e ' c i a l p r o v i s i o n s -- C o l o r a d o , D i s t r i c t o f C o l u m b i a , South Dakota, Ohio, West V i r g i n i a . (4 S t a t e s p l u s D.C.) -- Hawaii, Kinnesota, Louisiana, Note: Of t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n m a r k e d " S p e c i a l P r o v i s i o n s w , i n C o l o r a d o a n d D.C. t h e d r i n k i n g age i s 18 f o r t h e " s o f t e r w a l c o h o l beverages and 21 f o r "hardv liquor. I n S o u t h Dakota and Ohio t h e l i m i t i s 19 f o r t h e " s o f t e r " d r i n k s a n d 21 21 f o r "hard" l i q u o r . I n West V i r g i n i a t h e l i m i t i s 1 9 f o r r e s i d e n t s a n d for non-residents. The e f f o r t t o r a i s e t h e l e g a l d r i n k i n g a g e h a s b e e n c r i t i c i z e d as u n f a i r , serve in s i n c e t h e l e g a l a g e f o r v o t i n g i s 1 8 , a n d s i n c e many y o u n g p e o p l e the Nation's military forces. The p o l i t i c a l c o n n e c t i o n between t h e s e issues i s shown by t h e e v e n t s o f t h e y e a r s 1 9 7 0 - 7 3 . During that time 35 S t a t e s alcoholic beverages. r e d u c e d t h e minimum l e g a l d r i n k i n g a g e f o r some o r a l l This coincided with the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the C o n s t i t u t i o n , e f f e c t i v e i n J u l y 1971, which lowered t h e v o t i n g a g e from 21 t o 18 y e a r s ; i t a l s o c o i n c i d e d w i t h t h e l a s t y e a r s o f t h e Vietnam War a n d t h e p e a k o f t h e p u b l i c c o n t r o v e r s y o v e r U.S. i n v o l v e m e n t . T h e a r g u m e n t t h a t c i t i z e n s who a r e e l i g i b l e t o v o t e a n d t o serve in the eligible to consume a l c o h o l i c b e v e r a g e s armed f o r c e s s h o u l d t h e r e f o r e be that the society s e e m s v a l i d t o many c i t i z e n s . However, i t i s a l s o a r g u e d has a n overriding need t o restrict drinking among young p e o p l e aged 18 through 20, i n view of t h e a d v e r s e d a t a regarding drunk driving accidents i n v o l v i n g young p e o p l e . New J e r s e y , f o r e x a m p l e r - - r a i s e d i t s d r i n k i n g a g e t o 2 1 i n 1 9 8 3 a n d e x p e r i e n c e d a 26% r e d u c t i o n i n n i g h t t i m e f a t a l a c c i d e n t s among 19-20 y e a r - o l d s t h a t y e a r . S t a t i s t i c s such as t h e s e a r e t h e major argument f o r r a i s i n g t h e d r i n k i n g a g e t o 21. CRS- 5 Other c r i t i c s , however, c l a i m t h a t p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t h e 18-21 a g e group i s n o t j u s t i f i e d by s t a t i s t i c s . F o r e x a m p l e , t h e y claim t h a t t h e 21-24 age Consequently, g r o u p i s j u s t a s much a d r u n k d r i v i n g r i s k a s t h e 1 8 - 2 1 g r o u p . t h e y a r g u e t h a t c o n t i n u e d e m p h a s i s on p u b l i c awareness programs a n d more applied across a l l ages, would b e more s t r i n g e n t drunk d r i v i n g laws, effective policy. incidence Another c r i t i c i s m of t h i s approach i s t h a t i t n e g l e c t s t h e h i g h -- s o m e o f w h i c h a r e of d r i v i n g f a t a l i t i e s in the 16-18 age bracket a drinking age under 18. alcohol-related even though no State has C O n S e q U e n t l y , some c r i t i c s b e l i e v e t h a t n i g h t t i m e d r i v i n g c u r f e w s should be I n New dark. imposed f o r t h o s e under 1 8 , s i n c e most d r i n k i n g o c c u r s a f t e r York a n d P e n n s y l v a n i a , w h e r e c u r f e w h o u r s d o e x i s t , t h e Insurance Institute f o r Highway S a f e t y (IIHS) h a s r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r t h a n 60% r e d u c t i o n s in crash involvement of 16-year-old d r i v e r s during curfew hours. C u r i o u s l y , IIHS a l s o r e p o r t e d t h a t t e e n a g e r s , f o r t h e most p a r t , d o n o t oppose laws that would restrict their driving. P u b l i c Law 97-364 alcohol traffic I n 1982 t h e Congress passed H.R. 6170, a b i l l t o promote known s a f e t y and t o update t h e National Driver R e g i s t e r . The b i l l h a d b e e n a s t h e "Howard-Barnes b i l l " a f t e r i t s two p r i n c i p a l s p o n s o r s , R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and Michael D. Barnes (D-Md.). It cleared both J a m e s J . Howard ( D - N . J . ) H o u s e s o f C o n g r e s s b y v o i c e v o t e , a n d was s i g n e d i n t o l a w b y t h e P r e s i d e n t 0 3 O c t . 2 5 , 1 9 8 2 , a s P.L. 97-364. W i t h r e g a r d t o d r u n k d r i v i n g , t h e new l a w offers grants totaling $125 m i l l i o n t o S t a t e g o v e r n m e n t s o v e r t h r e e y e a r s b e g i n n i n g w i t h FY83. The f u n d s w i l l b e a p p r o p r i a t e d f r o m t h e Highway T r u s t Fund a n d a r e d i v i d e d into basic and Supplemental grants. NHTSAts O f f i c e o f A l c o h o l C o u n t e r m e a s u r e s has the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r reviewing S t a t e a p p l i c a t i o n s and a l l o c a t i n g funds under t h i s program. Basic grants a r e available t o S t a t e s t h a t meet t h e following c r i t e r i a : 1. l i c e n s e s u s p e n s i o n of a t l e a s t 90 d a y s f o r a f i r s t offender and a t l e a s t one year f o r a r e p e a t offender; 2. mandatory s e n t e n c e s of e i t h e r 48 h o u r s i n j a i l o r t e n d a y s community s e r v i c e f o r o f f e n d e r s c o n v i c t e d t w i c e within five years; 3. e s t a b l i s h m e n t of 0 . 1 % o r more as t h e b l o o d a l c o h o l l e v e l c o n s t i t u t i n g l e g a l d r u n k e n n e s s ; and 4. i n c r e a s e d e n f o r c e m e n t of d r u n k d r i v i n g laws, i n c l u d i n g p u b l i c information programs. The b a s i c g r a n t s a v a i l a b l e t o a S t a t e would e q u a l 30% o f t h a t S t a t e ' s 1 9 8 3 S e c t i o n 402 highway s a f e t y funding. Supplemental grants, f o r up t o 20% of t h e S e c t i o n 402 l e v e l , a r e a v a i l a b l e t o S t a t e s which a g r e e to suspend the l i c e n s e s of drunk d r i v e r s w i t h i n a n a v e r a g e of 4 5 d a y s from a r r e s t , and a g r e e of 21 such t o i m p l e m e n t a minimum o f e i g h t a d d i t i o n a l c r i t e r i a f r o m a l i s t c r i t e r i a e s t a b l i s h e d b y NHTSA. CRS- 6 IB83157 UPDATE-O~/O~/ As of February 1 9 8 5 , sixteen States have'qualified to receive grants under this program. National Driver Register Public L a w 9 7 - 3 6 4 provides for a substantial improvement of the National Driver Register (NDR). This i s a nationwide clearinghouse through which a State can identify driver's license applicants who have established unsafe driving records in other States. This record can then be taken into account in deciding upon the license application. Before the NDR came into existence, a State licensing bureau wishing to check o n a n applicant had to send inquiries to every other State. This was done very rarely because of the cost and effort involved; thus it was easy for a dangerous driver, whose license had been revoked or suspended in one State, to obtain a new license in another State. The purpose of the NDR is to prevent this from happening. The NDR was the subject of one of the earliest congressional enactments dealing with motor vehicle safety. It was established by Public L a w 8 6 - 6 6 0 , enacted on July 1 4 , 1960, and commenced operations in July 1961. The 1960 legislation was narrowly drawn and permitted only records of severe violations to b e - d i s t r i b u t e d through the NDR. As part of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the authority of the NDR was broadened to include virtually any kind of State action denying or suspending a driver's license. The structure of the NDR has remained the same since 1966. The major drawback to its method of operation has been that the medium of communication used between the State licensing bureaus and the NDR i s the postal service. This means that many days may elapse between the time the State makes its inquiry and the time it receives a response from the NDR. Often the individual i n question obtains his or her new license before this response is received; at that point it may be impossible to locate the individual again in order to revoke the license. In 1 9 7 7 , Representative Oberstar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation intended to upgrade the NDR by automating i t , so that the exchange of information would be made electronically. Some of the States were concerned about costs and operational problems which might accompany a n automated NDR, s o the proposed legislation was amended to provide instead for a 1-year study of the NDR. DOT performed the study and reported to the Congress in June 1980. The study recommended that the NDR be upgraded and automated. The question of the National Driver Register led to a public reversal of position by the Reagan Administration. In June 1 9 8 1 , the Administration for this proposed that the NDR be abolished. The primary . reason recommendation was cost, although questions of privacy law and inaccurate data were also raised. After meeting with citizens interested in continuing and upgrading the NDR; DOT reversed its position and declared itself in favor of a n improved NDR. The Administration subsequently backed the legislation upgrading the NDR, which was enacted in 1982. The NDR provisions of P.L. 97-364 are eventually intended to convert the Register to a high-speed electronic system. Within two years after enactment, the Secretary of Transportation is to select four States to participate in a 1-year pilot program testing an electronic NDR system. The Secretary will then determine when the remaining States could join the systern, based on the results of the pilot program. The bill also establishes a 15-member advisory committee on the NDR. It authorizes $9.1 million for expenses associated with the National Driver Register during fiscal years CRS- 7 IB83157 UPDATE-O~/O~/ 1983 through 1987. NHTSA is now engaged i n the design of the proposed electronic NDR system. T,he four States that will participate i n the pilot program have not yet been Chosen. The advisory committee authorized by the legislation has now been established. " ~ a t i o n a iDrunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week" For the past three years Congress has passed joint resolutions designating Week" a week in December as "National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness The (P.L. 97-343 for 1982; P.L. 98-103 for 1 9 8 3 ; P.L. 9 8 - 3 3 8 for 1984). purpose of these resolutions ik to increase the level of national awareness of the problem through appropriate activities during the designated week. The December dates are chosen because of the particular drinking problems associated with the Christmas and New Year .holiday period. "Student Awareness of Drunk Driving Monthfq In 1 9 8 4 , the Congress passed a Joint Resolution designating the month of June 1984 as "Student Awareness of Drunk Driving Month." The resolution, H.J.Res. 4 4 3 , was signed into law on Apr. 6 , 1 9 8 4 (P.L. 98-252). NTSB Activities The primary Federal responsibility for automobile safety rests with the Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Recently the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has become a secondary focus for automobile safety activities. The NTSB is a n independent agency with broad authority to investigate transportation for its accidents and make recommendations; it is perhaps best known investigations of air crashes. With regard to auto safety, the NTSB has worked with State governments, encouraging the legislatures to pass child restraint laws and to increase the minimum drinking a g e to 21. The Board has an alcohol program coordinator, who is to combat alcohol and drug abuse in three transportation modes: highway safety, general aviation, and recreational boating. In the highway a r e a , the Board is studying drivers with multiple convictions, i n order to identify the Iflegal and administrative loopholes" that permit these repeat offenders to continue driving. Citizens Groups Groups of concerned citizens have played a n important role in changing the public attitude toward drunk driving. The best known o f these groups is Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization was founded by a California woman, Candy Lightner, after her daughter was killed in an accident by a drunk driver who previously had been convicted. MADD now has over 1 0 0 chapters i n nearly all S t a t e s , with thousands of volunteer workers. Another leading organization is Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID). Groups have also been formed made up of students, truckers, and others. These organizations work in several ways to alleviate the drunk driving problem. They lobby for tougher drunk driving laws a t a l l levels of government, monitor the courts to focus attention o n qentences they consider too light, disseminate information through the m e d i a , and assist the 5amilies CRS- 8 a n d victims of drunk drivers. Police Roadblocks In many a r e a s of t h e c o u n t r y , p o l i c e r o a d b l o c k s h a v e b e c o m e a p a r t of the anti-drunk d r i v i n g campaign. The police will stop traffic, typically on a road with a history o f n u m e r o u s drunk driving v i o l a t i o n s a n d a t a t i m e w h e n s u c h violations usually occur (such a s a w e e k e n d evening). The purpose i s to d e t e c t drunk d r i v e r s a n d t o a r r e s t t h o s e s o identified. T h i s a c t i v i t y has been the subject of controversy. Civil liberties groups h a v e taken t h e position that t h e s e police r o a d b l o c k s a r e i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e F o u r t h Amendment prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Motorists a r e stopped without the "probable cause" that i s normally r e q u i r e d f o r a legal p o l i c e search. T h i s a r g u m e n t i s countered by t h e belief that the public i n t e r e s t i n a p p r e h e n d i n g drunk drivers outweighs is t h e i n t r u s i o n o n privacy caused by t h e search. In t h i s v i e w t h e search n o t a n "unreasonable" a c t i o n o n t h e part of t h e police. Deterrent Devices Mechanical d e v i c e s intended to d e t e r drunk d r i v i n g a r e n o w b e i n g tested. O n e such t e s t i s being conducted under a n NHTSA c o n t r a c t by S y s t e m s T e c h n o l o g y Inc., of H a w t h o r n e , California. T h e t e s t d e v i c e c o n s i s t s of a d i s p l a y , s i m i l a r t o t h a t of c o m p u t e r games p o p u l a r t o d a y , i n w h i c h t h e d r i v e r m u s t k e e p a displayed n e e d l e centered o n t h e s c r e e n f o r a g i v e n period of t i m e (perhaps 3 0 seconds) before starting t h e automobile. If the driver c a n n o t kee.p t h e n e e d l e c e n t e r e d , ten m i n u t e s m u s t elapse b e f o r e h e o r she may try again. After f o u r such f a i l u r e s , the t e s t c a n n o t be p e r f o r m e d a g a i n for s e v e r a l hours. T h e d e v i c e is not " i n t e r l o c k e d " with t h e i g n i t i o n ; in a n e m e r g e n c y , t h e d r i v e r may o v e r r i d e t h e d e v i c e a n d start the car. If this i s d o n e , t h e l i g h t s w i l l f l a s h a n d t h e horn w i l l sound c o n t i n u o u s l y u n t i l the ignition i s s h u t off. T h i s f e a t u r e would a l l o w t h e car t o be d r i v e n in a The device r e a l emergency b u t would deter i t s use in a l l o t h e r situations. i s currently being tested on c a r s owned by m o t o r i s t s with drunk driving convictions in t h e L o s Angeles area. If i t w i n s a c c e p t a n c e , p r e s u m a b l y e f f o r t s would b e made to have such devices i n s t a l l e d by c o u r t o r d e r o n c a r s owned by t h o s e with previous convictions. LEGISLATION HEARINGS U.S. Congress. House. C o m m i t t e e o n P u b l i c Works and Transportation. S u b c o m m i t t e e o n S u r f a c e Transportation. H i g h w a y , highway s a f e t y , a n d public m a s s t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c a p i t a l needs. H e a r i n g s , 9 7 t h C o n g r e s s , 2d session. W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1982. 1 0 7 3 p. ( M a t e r i a l r e l a t i n g to drunk driving on pages 619-709.) U.S. Congress. Senate. C o m m i t t e e on C o m m e r c e , S c i e n c e , a n d Transportation. S u b c o m m i t t e e on S u r f a c e Transportation. CRS- 9 F e d e r a l l e g i s l a t i o n t o combat drunk d r i v i n g i n c l u d i n g National Driver Register. H e a r i n g s , 9 7 t h C o n g r e s s , 2d s e s s i o n . W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 2 . 137 p. REPORTS A N D CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS U.S. Congress. House. C o m m i t t e e on P u b l i c Works a n d Transportation. Alcohol t r a f f i c s a f e t y and National Driver Sept. 23, 1982. Register. 9 7 t h C o n g r e s s , 2d s e s s i o n . 1 7 p. R e p o r t no. 97-867. U.S. Congress. Senate. C o m m i t t e e on Commerce, S c i e n c e , Transportation. Driver safety. 9 7 t h C o n g r e s s , 2d S e s s i o n . Apr. 26, 1982. 1 8 p. R e p o r t no. 97-360. and ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES I n s u r a n c e I n s t i t u t e f o r Highway S a f e t y . The highway A special issue: loss reduction status report. R e s t r i c t e d d r i v i n g r e d u c e s crash d e a t h s ; m a j o r i t y o f t e e n a g e r s do n o t o p p o s e r e s t r i c t i o n s . v. 19, no. 1 0 . (ISSN 018-988X) Washington, June 9 , 1984. P r e s i d e n t i a l C o m m i s s i o n o n D r u n k D r i v i n g -- F i n a l R e p o r t , November 1 9 8 3 . W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 3 . 39 p. U.S. Department of T r a n s p o r t a t i o n . N a t i o n a l ~ i g h w a yT r a f f i c Safety Aministration. A l c o h o l a n d h i g h w a y s a f e t y laws: a n a t i o n a l overview, 1981. Washington, Apr. 1982. 77 (DOT HS 8 0 6 1 2 6 ) P ----- Alcohol i n f a t a l a c c i d e n t s , n a t i o n a l estimates--U.S.A. Washington, Jan. 1983. 6 8 p. (DOT HS 8 0 6 3 7 1 ) ----- Alcohol i n f a t a l a c c i d e n t s , n a t i o n a l estimates--U.S.A. e x e c u t i v e summary. Washington, Jan. 1983. 1 6 p. (DOT HS 8 0 6 3 7 0 ) ----- Alcohol involvement i n t r a f f i c accidents: recent e s t i m a t e s from t h e National Center f o r S t a t i s t i c s and A n a l y s i s . W a s h i n g t o n , May 1 9 8 2 . 9 p., plus appendices. (DOT HS 8 0 6 2 6 9 ) ----- The N a t i o n a l - D r i v e r R e g i s t e r : a p a r t o f t'he S t a t e s A r e p o r t t o t h e Congress. d r i v e r l i c e n s i n g system. Washington, June 1980, various pagings. ( D O T HS 8 0 5 527) ----- The r o l e of a l c o h o l , m a r i j u a n a , a n d o t h e r d r u g s i n t h e a c c i d e n t s of i n j u r e d d r i v e r s . Paper presented a t 25th a n n u a l c o n f e r e n c e o f t h e American A s s o c i a t i o n f o r Automotive M e d i c i n e , San F r a n c i s c o , CA, by K e n n e t h W . T e r h u n e , Ph.D., W a s h i n g t o n , Mar. 1 9 8 2 ( r e v i s i o n ) . 15 and James C. F e l l . ( D O T HS 8 0 6 1 8 1 ) p. U.S. General A c c o u n t i n g Office. The drinking-driver Washington, p r o b l e m s -- w h a t c a n b e d o n e a b o u t i t ? Feb. 2 1 , 1 9 7 9 . 53 p. (CED-79-33) U.S. Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. Auto safety and related issues: t h e Federal program. W a s h i n g t o n , A p r i l 1 2 , 1 9 8 3 . . 8 1 p. (83-121 SPR)