Only a small fraction of the impaired drivers who are at risk for alcohol-impaired-driving crashes are arrested. These include drivers who drink regularly or occasionally to intoxication before they drive. Researchers have estimated the probability of being arrested while driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .10 g/dL to be about 1 in 200. A similar study reported that only 23% of alcohol-positive drivers admitted to trauma units and
emergency departments following crashes are convicted of DWI.
This report provides an overview of the use of Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) as a countermeasure for those who have displayed, or could potentially display, harmful/hazardous drinking behaviors, including drinking and driving. This report endeavors to acquaint the highway safety community with an overview of the development of SBI, the context in which SBI is employed, the efficacy and limitations of this approach, and the policy implications for traffic safety.