The Geography of Sobriety Checkpoints and Alcohol-Impaired Driving


While sobriety checkpoints have been well-documented in reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle incidents, the geographical extent to which they are effective is less known. In order to address this, a new study evaluated geolocated breath test data from the Queensland Police Service in Australia, running spatial ecological panel analysis. The study, which featured past PISC trainee Christopher Morrison, PhD, External Advisory Board member Charles Branas, PhD, and Center Director Douglas Wiebe, PhD, found that one additional sobriety checkpoint per 500 roadway kilometers was associated with a 2.5% decrease in the percent of breath tests with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.05%. Although the conclusions are limited by the temporal and geographical characteristics of the dataset, the relationship between individual sobriety checkpoints and reductions in alcohol-impaired driving holds promise for further investigation.


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