International Alcohol and Crime Briefs

December 2013


Canada
The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) released a new report on female drunk drivers, entitled Female Drunk Drivers: A qualitative study – History and Experiences in the System. The report summarizes the different profiles of female drunk drivers that emerged from a 2012 study that involved multiple cases drawn from four states (California, Michigan, Missouri and New York). It also contains recommendations to improve the delivery of services to this population in the criminal justice and treatment systems.

June 2013


Canada

  • The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) announced that the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) has released the TIRF-prepared report, The Alcohol Crash Problem in Canada: 2010.

  • TIRF also released of Impaired Driving Risk Assessment: A primer for policymakers.

    The primer is the result of a partnership between principals from the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), the Addiction Research Program of the Douglas Mental Health University (McGill) Institute, Université de Montréal and Université de Sherbrooke under funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in Transdisciplinary Studies in Driving While Impaired Onset, Persistence, Prevention and Treatment.

    As part of the project, researchers ran focus groups with remedial impaired driver program practitioners and surveyed justice professionals from across Canada. The report provides an overview of risk assessment practices in Canada for impaired drivers and provides a snapshot of the practices used by driver licensing and criminal justice practitioners. It summarizes current risk assessment practices and describes the different ways that impaired drivers are assessed for risk in both systems.

    In addition, the primer highlights the strengths and limitations of practices in Canadian driver licensing and criminal justice systems and includes recommendations to inform and/or guide future efforts to develop or improve best practices related to risk assessment in both systems.

December 2012


Canada

  • The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) held its 13th International Alcohol Interlock Symposium in Helsinki, Finland. Over 130 participants, representing 21 countries, attended the symposium entitled, “Alcohol Interlocks: Opportunities to Improve Traffic Management.” The symposium focused on interlock use in different applications with various populations.

  • TIRF announced this year’s Barry Sweedler Award recipient, Mr. Ilyas Daoud. at the 2012 Alcohol Interlock Symposium in Helsinki, Finland. Mr. Daoud is a project officer at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and manages ETSC’s Safe and Sober campaign. Safe and Sober is aimed at promoting the development and deployment of alcohol interlocks in the commercial sector as well as in offender programs.  
  • Additionally, TIRF launched the redesigned Young and New Driver Resource Centre (YNDRC). The site offers new materials designed to help young drivers and their parents increase their knowledge of how young drivers are affected by a variety of road safety issues including fatigue, distraction, impairment, speeding, and seatbelt use, as well as strategies to mitigate these risks.

United Kingdom

  • The U.K. has been intensifying its efforts to mandate sobriety initiatives. Recognizing the success of programs like South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project, officials have turned to twice daily breath testing and transdermal alcohol monitoring technologies for cost-effective methods of managing alcohol misuse. In Scotland officials already are using transdermal alcohol monitoring bracelets to monitor violent offenders and prisoners released early on “license” as part of a program known as Project Pegasus. Similar programs are under development in both England and Wales.

Russia

  • Russia quickly stiffened their drunk driving legislation after a man killed five orphans and their two adult supervisors by plowing into a bus stop after a two-day drinking binge. Moscow police arrested 522 people for drunken driving in the first four days after the crash. The legislation calls for an increase in fines by ten times, and to sentence drunk drivers to prison. See After Tragedy, Russia rethinks drunk driving.

January 2012


Australia

  • A coalition of organizations led by the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) and funded by the Victoria Law Foundation and the Reichstein Foundation support Smart Justice. Learn about their efforts »

Canada

  • The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) contracted with LifeSafer to conduct a study on interlocked offenders’ behavioral patterns and the features of effective interlock programs. Dr. Ward Vanlaar, TIRF’s Vice President of Research, will serve as principal investigator. For more information, contact Sara Oglestone at sarao@tirf.ca or 1-877-238-5235.

Scotland

  • In 2010, Ireland passed the Road Traffic Act, which lowered the legal limit and provided for mandatory alcohol testing of drivers involved in crashes where some is injured. More information »

September 2011


Canada

  • On July 17-18, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) co-hosted the International Symposium on Drugs and Driving with the U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction. The symposium drew experts in a variety of disciplines from around the world.

Scotland

  • Strathclyde, Scotland’s largest police force, introduced a plan that would prohibit offenders accused of certain violent crimes from drinking while on bail. Program participants would be required to submit to breath alcohol testing up to twice a day and incarcerated immediately if they tested positive. The proposal followed a successful trial in domestic violence cases in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

December 2010


United Kingdom

  • Officials in London are considering implementing a 24/7 Sobriety Program based upon the South Dakota model. Click here for an article in the London Daily Mail.

August 2010


Canada

  • The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) will host the 11th Annual Alcohol interlock Symposium, taking place October 17-18, 2010, in Montebello, Canada. The symposium will focus on harmonizing policies and practices across jurisdictions and across disciplines. It will explore opportunities to streamline program delivery and examine the implementation of first offender programs. The Proceedings from last year’s symposium are available at www.tirf.ca.

United Kingdom

  • Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for policing in London and member of the London Assembly, is proposing that the city follow the example set by the South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Program.

April 2010 Updates


United Kingdom

  • The Home Office released Alcohol Arrest Referral: A Guide to Setting Up Schemes in November. Click here to download a copy.

December 2009 Updates


United Kingdom

  • Prison overcrowding is leading to a national crisis. The Prison Governors Association is urging the country to abolish terms of 12 months or less. The National Victims’ Association and British Retail Consortium are fighting the proposal. Click here for details.

September 2009 Updates


Canada

  • The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is conducting an evaluation of alcohol ignition interlock devices in Nova Scotia. More info »

  • Ladybug Teknologies is launching a software application to help educate social drinkers about their alcohol consumption in real time.

United Kingdom

  • The Department for Transport (DfT) launched the THINK! Drug Drive campaign to address drugged driving. The effort reinforces important educational, legal and policy messages to the public. Visit site »

Australia

  • TIRF is hosted the 10th Annual Alcohol Symposium (also known as the Interlock Symposium) in Melbourne, Australia in October. www.interlocksymposium.com