Identifying the “Hardcore” Alcohol-Impaired Driver
Definition: Hardcore alcohol-impaired drivers (HCDD) are those individuals who have one or more previous impaired driving offense, or have a BAC of 0.15 mg/dL or more when stopped for an offense.
Executive Summary: The identification of HCDDs is of utmost importance, given that these offenders contribute to 70% of all alcohol-related fatalities and often suffer alcoholism requiring specific treatment. HCDDs frequently drive after they have been drinking and consider such behavior to be normal.
More Detail: It is also imperative to be able to identify these hard core offenders as early in the process as possible. Identification of HCDDs should occur when a driver registers a high BAC during a stop or when traffic records show the driver to be a repeat offender. It may also occur when the offender is charged, appears before a judge, or is evaluated for treatment. Police officers, prosecutors, defense counsel and judges are encouraged to look more closely at high-BAC cases and those with a history of repeat offenses. The accessibility of hardcore offenders’ records should provide the information needed to determine the extent of their problems and recommend appropriate sanctions and treatment, including possible placement in a Sobriety Court.
Suggested Audience: Enforcement, Prosecutors, Judges
- The Century Council. DUI Data – Swift Identification
- NHTSA – Identification and Referral of Impaired Drivers through Emergency Department Protocols, 2002
- NHTSA – Addressing Alcohol-Impaired Driving. Training Physicians to Detect and Counsel Their Patients Who Drink Heavily 2000
- NHTSA – Evaluation of Enhanced Sanctions for Higher BACs: Summary of States’ Laws HS 809 215, 2001