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A Drunk Driving Systems Approach. Robyn Robertson, M.C.A. Traffic Injury Research Foundation Michigan Traffic Safety Summit Lansing, MI March 14 th , 2007. Overview. History of research initiative. Priority problems and solutions in Michigan.

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slide1

A Drunk Driving Systems Approach

Robyn Robertson, M.C.A.

Traffic Injury Research Foundation

Michigan Traffic Safety Summit

Lansing, MI

March 14th, 2007

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

overview
Overview
  • History of research initiative.
  • Priority problems and solutions in Michigan.
  • Applications of the system improvements approach:
    • a strategic review of the DWI system
    • using supervision technologies – interlocks/SCRAM

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

history
History
  • Hard core repeat offenders account for a substantial part of the alcohol-crash problem.
  • Agencies have uniformly shifted their focus to these persistent offenders.
  • Efforts are needed to close loopholes that allow offenders to evade apprehension, prosecution, sanctioning – there is evidence that the justice system is not achieving its goals.
  • Continued progress will depend on our ability to address this problem.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

project background
Project background
  • TIRF conducted a 3-year comprehensive review of the criminal DWI system under funding from Anheuser Busch Companies.
  • The goal was to identify priority problems and practical solutions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal DWI system.
  • Unique project approach involving several thousand front-line professionals.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

acceptance
Acceptance
  • American Judges Association
  • American Probation and Parole Association
  • American Prosecutors Research Institute
  • Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals
  • California District Attorneys Association
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Conference of State Court Administrators
  • Council of State Governments
  • Governors Highway Safety Association
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Institute of Police Technology and Management
  • Journal of Offender Monitoring
  • National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators
  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

acceptance6
Acceptance
  • National Association of State Judicial Educators
  • National Criminal Justice Association
  • National Center for State Courts
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Employers for Traffic Safety
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • National Institute of Corrections
  • National Institute of Justice
  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • National Judicial College
  • National Traffic Law Center
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
  • Washington Traffic Safety Commission

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

enforcement problem list
Enforcement:problem list
  • Paperwork
  • Test refusal
  • Detection
  • Incomplete evidence
  • Medical cooperation
  • Failure-to-appear
  • Records
  • Testimony
  • Resources

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

enforcement problem list8
Enforcement:problem list
  • Paperwork
  • Test refusal
  • Detection
  • Incomplete evidence
  • Medical cooperation
  • Failure to appear
  • Records
  • Testimony
  • Resources

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

paperwork problem
Paperwork: problem
  • Paperwork associated with DWI arrests, especially those involving repeat offenders, is voluminous.
  • Nationwide, officers may complete as many as 16 different forms, containing repetitive information.
  • Officers require an average of 2-3 hours to complete an arrest.
  • While progress has been made, paperwork requirements are still substantial.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

paperwork solution
Paperwork: solution
  • Reduce it: standardize and streamline paperwork.
  • Technology: to reduce processing time and errors.
    • computerize forms, with branching systems and linkages to other forms.
    • electronic roadside equipment such as mag-stripe readers to make form completion faster and more accurate.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

testimony problem
Testimony: problem
  • Police officers testify infrequently in DWI cases – 78% of officers report that they rarely or occasionally testify.
  • Officers are most likely to testify in cases involving repeat offenders where accuracy and detail are extremely important.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

testimony solution
Testimony: solution
  • Preparation: by prosecutors in how to effectively testify in court.
  • Mock trials: to simulate presentation of evidence and cross-examination.
  • Mentoring: working with experienced officers and using direct observation.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

prosecution problem list
Prosecution:problem list

Nationwide

Michigan

  • Evidentiary issues
  • Test refusal
  • Motions & continuances
  • Records
  • Inadequate penalties
  • Failure-to-appear
  • Legislative complexities
  • Expert witnesses
  • Plea agreements
  • Prosecutor training
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Expert witnesses
  • Inadequate penalties
  • Test refusal
  • Records
  • Motions & continuances
  • Legislative complexities
  • Failure to appear
  • Plea agreements
  • Prosecutor training

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

prosecution problem list14
Prosecution: problem list
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Test refusal
  • Motions and continuances
  • Records
  • Inadequate or inconsistent penalties
  • Failure to appear
  • Legislative complexities
  • Expert witnesses
  • Plea agreements
  • Prosecutor training

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

evidentiary issues problem
Evidentiary issues: problem
  • Collection of evidence:
    • Complex investigation and arrest procedures create opportunities for errors.
    • Lack of standardization in police training and DWI testing procedures produces inconsistency.
  • Documentation of evidence:
    • Numerous and detailed forms provide opportunities for error.
    • Lack of standardization of breath testing equipment.
    • Storage and chain of custody issues.
    • Admissibility of prior convictions.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

evidentiary issues solution
Evidentiary issues: solution
  • Training: improved and standardized police training and DWI testing procedures.
  • Cooperation: improved police/prosecutor cooperation.
  • Recognition: improved police motivation -- recognition of officers doing a good/consistent job.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

motions and continuances problem
Motions and continuances: problem
  • Motions are written applications to the court to obtain a favorable decision or ruling.
  • Motions, including those for continuances, can be overused or used in a “frivolous” manner to delay proceedings and “bury” prosecutors in paperwork.
  • Prosecutors have difficulty responding to some motions due to problems accessing legal research and reference materials.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

motions and continuances solution
Motions and continuances: solution
  • Access:
    • consistent, computerized access to Westlaw and related legal websites.
    • greater access to legal research materials and court rulings.
  • Case processing:stricter adherence to guidelines to ensure the case is processed in a reasonable timeframe.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

adjudication problem list
Adjudication: problem list

Nationwide

Michigan

  • Sentence monitoring
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Caseload
  • Motions & continuances
  • Failure to appear
  • Records
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Mandatory minimum sentences
  • Juries
  • Sentence monitoring
  • Caseload
  • Failure to appear
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Motions & continuances
  • Juries
  • Records
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Mandatory minimum sentences

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

adjudication problem list20
Adjudication: problem list
  • Sentence monitoring
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Caseload
  • Motions and continuances
  • Failure to appear
  • Records
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Mandatory minimum sentences
  • Juries

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

sentence monitoring problem
Sentence monitoring: problem
  • Commonly assumed that offenders comply with imposed sentences.
  • Offenders frequently fail to comply, either in whole or in part.
  • Judges in Michigan estimate that 29% of offenders are returned to court for failing to comply with dispositions - comparable to the national average.
  • Petitions to revoke probation are rarely filed in some states.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

sentence monitoring problem22
Sentence monitoring: problem
  • Courts have limited resources to monitor offender compliance – almost 2/3 of Michigan judges report resources are insufficient.
  • Lack of communication was identified by 50% of Michigan judges as the most significant factor impeding the effective monitoring of offenders.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

sentence monitoring solution
Sentence monitoring: solution
  • Streamline reporting: simplify reports to facilitate judicial review and ensure statutory limitations on revocation orders are met.
  • Centralize reporting: through probation and parole officers – 83% of Michigan judges support this recommendation.
  • Contact and communication: greater integration between courts, probation, treatment, and offenders would improve compliance – 95% agree, compared to 74% nationally.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

adjudication problem list24
Adjudication: problem list
  • Sentence monitoring
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Caseload
  • Motions and continuances
  • Failure to appear
  • Records
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Mandatory minimum sentences
  • J

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

caseload problem
Caseload: problem
  • With 1.4 million arrests annually, DWI offenses are the most frequently adjudicated misdemeanor in the lower courts.
  • Caseloads are substantial -- in Minnesota almost 40% of the criminal calendar is DWI related.
  • Repeat offenders are more likely to plead not guilty and go to trial – 56% of Michigan judges agree.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

caseload solution
Caseload: solution
  • More judges: judges support more hiring to reduce caseloads and improve sentencing decisions – 26% of Michigan judges agree.
  • Specialized courts: result in swifter resolutions, reduce backlogs and improve outcomes – 58% of Michigan judges agree (compared to 50% nationally).
  • Mandatory alcohol assessments: the timely production of these will allow judges to evaluate plea agreements and expedite sentencing – 95% of Michigan judges agree.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

monitoring problem list
Monitoring:problem list

Nationwide

Michigan

  • Non-compliance with court orders
  • Caseload
  • Conflicting goals
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Program design
  • Paperwork
  • Net-widening
  • Records
  • Caseload
  • Non-compliance with court orders
  • Program design
  • Conflicting goals
  • Paperwork
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Records
  • Net-widening

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

probation parole problem
Probation/parole:problem
  • Non-compliance with court orders
  • Caseload
  • Conflicting goals
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Program administration
  • Paperwork
  • Net-widening
  • Records

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

non compliance problem
Non-compliance: problem

Hard core repeat offenders simply do not comply with court-ordered sanctions:

  • Do not have ignition interlocks installed.
  • Do not show up for treatment.
  • Do not pay fines and fees.
  • Do not abstain from alcohol or drugs.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

non compliance problem30
Non-compliance: problem
  • Offenders frequently fail to comply to varying extents; non-compliance is not consistently detected.
  • Officers nationwide estimate that 44% of offenders fail to comply with the terms and conditions of sentence.
  • Offenders least compliant with license sanctions (36%); treatment (28%).

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

non compliance solution
Non-compliance: solution
  • Better communication: between probation and treatment agencies – 88% agree.
  • Contact & testing: more client contact, with random testing - 44% of officers support.
  • Technical assistance: greater use of new technologies.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

probation parole problem32
Probation/parole:problem
  • Non-compliance with court orders
  • Caseload
  • Conflicting goals
  • Sentencing disparity
  • Program administration
  • Paperwork
  • Net-widening
  • Records

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

program administration problem
Program administration: problem
  • Over 65% of officers report that program requirements or design contribute to non-compliance, occasionally or often.
    • Offenders circumvent screening mechanisms.
    • Conditions cannot be complied with.
    • Programs administered inconsistently.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

program administration solution
Program administration: solution
  • Indigent offender funds: a priority need.
  • Realistic program requirements: to facilitate entry and improve the likelihood of compliance.
  • Program matching: to make better use of resources and increase success rates.
  • Certification and standards: for service providers.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

systems approach
Systems approach
  • System parts are interdependent.
  • Collectively examining the findings from the series of reports, it is evident that many of the same problems impact the system at all levels:
    • caseload
    • evidence
    • test refusal
    • records
    • failure to appear
    • legislation
  • Fixing a problem can have beneficial reverberations throughout the entire system.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

what is needed
What is needed?
  • Enhanced training and education.
  • Improved communication and cooperation among professionals.
  • Improved records: timeliness, linkages, and access.
  • Greater use of technology.
  • Legislation and regulation.
  • More resources.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

summary report
Summary report
  • Summary report contains 64 recommendations for improving the DWI system:
    • Communication and cooperation
    • Training and education
    • Technology
    • Records
    • Legislation
    • Resources
  • Leadership from key agencies (AJA, APPA, NTLC, IACP) stimulated involvement of others, resulting in a consensual roadmap for change.
  • Report facilitated the formation of

the Working Group on DWI System Improvements.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

working group
Working Group
  • Our Working Group on DWI System Improvements has become an effective coalition that is advancing the priority recommendations.
  • 14 agencies are involved.
  • Inclusive process; some agencies have never been seen as part of the process.
  • Our initiative is breaking down barriers, improving communication and cooperation.
  • This Working Group has the credibility, profile and expertise to facilitate the implementation of priority recommendations.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

working group39
Working Group
  • The Working Group held its inaugural meeting in 2004.
    • Milestone in the history of DWI.
    • A major outcome was the development of guiding principles to make the recommendations more practical and feasible.
  • In 2005 the meeting provided concrete illustrations of progress.
  • In 2006 meeting focused on

a strategic review of the DWI system and interlock programs.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review
DWI system strategic review
  • Some states have already undertaken a strategic review.
  • The process has varied across states.
  • Outcomes have been mixed.
  • Research can guide the review process.
  • An emphasis should be on making the system work better.
  • A review can be undertaken at a state, county, or local level.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review41
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 1: select a review strategy and build a team
    • identify a strategy for conducting a review
    • establish a review team of qualified stakeholders
    • limit the size of the team
    • use a two-tiered process to create buy-in

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review42
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 2: identify purpose, goals, and objectives
    • establish and prioritize short-term and long-term objectives
    • assign responsibilities to team members
    • promote communication and cooperation among members/agencies
    • avoid partisanship

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review43
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 3: establish guiding principles
    • achievable
    • context
    • comprehensive
    • compromise
    • constructive
    • culturally and socio-economically sensitive
    • evidence-based
    • inclusive
    • measurable
    • responsive
    • system-centered

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review44
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 4: assess the system
    • interview key players in the system – conduct agency assessments to gather input from front-line professionals
    • gather hard data
    • locate source of problems
  • Step 5: evaluate potential solutions
    • evaluate solutions for problems using clear criteria
    • avoid unintended negative consequences
    • emphasize assessment and treatment

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review45
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 6: select a viable strategy
    • achieve consensus on most effective strategies
    • integrate system components and facilitate communication
  • Step 7: create consensus
    • remain focused on goals
    • encourage cooperation and compromise
    • develop support for changes among stakeholders

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review46
DWI system strategic review
  • Step 8: develop recommendations and support delivery with a well-communicated strategy
  • Step 9: set responsibilities and timelines as part of an implementation plan
  • Step 10: measure outcomes and establish an ongoing review; share successes

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

dwi system strategic review47
DWI system strategic review
  • Caveats to the review process:
    • scanning the system
    • avoiding unintended negative consequences
    • feedback
    • special populations
    • assessment and treatment
    • public education
    • a “model” system
    • sharing successes

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

summary
Summary
  • The review process can bring agencies together to discuss common problems and foster communication and cooperation among agencies.
  • A review team can be an effective vehicle to leverage consensus and create effective change to improve the system.
  • A review can ensure agencies are making the best use of limited resources.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach
Technology: a systems approach
  • An interlock is a breath-testing device attached to a car starter.
  • It prevents ignition when a pre-set level of alcohol is detected in the breath sample provided by, presumably, the driver.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

how does it work

BAC = 0

Ignition

Warn

BAC <= 0.02

Running Retest

BAC > 0.02

Interlock

How does it work?

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach51
Technology: a systems approach
  • Devices have been commercially available since the 1980s.
  • Most states have enabling legislation and programs.
  • Interlocks are used irregularly – only about 120,000 in NA.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach52
Technology: a systems approach
  • In the past 7 years the research and technology have advanced considerably.
  • Programs have been implemented in almost all jurisdictions.
  • Yet despite compelling research, and enabling legislation, interlocks are used irregularly – why?

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach53
Technology: a systems approach
  • Program implementation and delivery have received far less attention.
  • This has hindered participation in and the expansion of interlock programs.
  • Attention must now be focused on improving implementation and delivery of all programs.
  • Front-line professionals are partners in this process, not adversaries.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach54
Technology: a systems approach
  • Research results and technological advances are not well-translated in the criminal justice literature.
  • Training and education are inconsistent or largely unavailable to professionals.
  • Professionals have been generally uninvolved in program setup.
  • Myths and legends surrounding interlocks have never been adequately addressed outside of the research community.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach55
Technology: a systems approach
  • Consequently, criminal justice professionals are unfamiliar with interlock devices or programs.
  • Yet these professionals play a key role in program delivery in many jurisdictions, and are a linchpin to improving participation rates.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of law enforcement
Role of law enforcement
  • To determine at the roadside if the driver is interlock-restricted – requires means of identification.
  • To determine that the proper device is installed and functioning as it should – requires knowledge of the device.
  • To file necessary charges – requires knowledge of legislation.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of prosecutor
Role of prosecutor
  • Make sentence recommendations and provide information to the judge – requires knowledge of devices and program.
  • Handle probation violation and revocation hearings – requires availability and time in court.
  • Handle evidentiary hearings and respond to motions – requires extensive knowledge of science.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of prosecutor58
Role of prosecutor
  • Examine/cross-examine expert witnesses – requires availability of witness and knowledge of science.
  • Prove defendant gave the breath sample – requires evidence.
  • Prove the device was valid and operating properly – requires evidence that meets federal rules.
  • Scientifically refute alternate explanations such as mouth alcohol, medical conditions, food.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of judge
Role of judge
  • Sentence defendant:
    • according to principles of sentencing
    • according to facts of case
    • ensure that justice is served
    • ensure there are resources available for sentence
    • consider financial means of defendant
    • consider family situation

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of judge60
Role of judge
  • Judges need knowledge at the time of sentencing to address the following issues:
    • claim that offender does not intend to drive
    • claim that offender does not own a vehicle
    • claim that offender is unable to provide a sufficient breath sample
    • offenders routinely fail to install interlock
    • offenders fail to drive the interlocked vehicle

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of judge61
Role of judge
  • Ensure compliance with conditions of sentencing – requires multiple reports.
  • Preside over violation/evidentiary hearings – requires time on docket and knowledge of science, availability of counsel.
  • Evaluate evidence in motions, from expert witnesses; include/exclude – requires knowledge and evidentiary test.
  • Rule on hearing and impose sentence – must have available sanctions, resources.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

role of probation
Role of probation
  • Make sentence recommendations- requires knowledge of program.
  • Supervise and enforce all conditions imposed – requires time and resources.
  • Respond to non-compliance.
  • Handle probation violation or revocation hearings – requires knowledge of law, science.
  • Enforce any sanctions imposed – requires time and resources.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

system challenges
System challenges
  • Inexperience of DWI professionals
  • Misdemeanor cases vs. felony cases
  • Mandatory minimums – no alternatives
  • Indigent offenders and use of fines
  • Caseload/workload – trends in probation
  • Revocations and overcrowding in jails
  • Short-term vs. long-term public safety

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

what is needed64
What is needed?
  • Education and training within the criminal justice community.
  • Translation of the research.
  • Dialogue with the criminal justice community to address program delivery issues.
  • Streamlined reporting.
  • Linkages with treatment.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Many states have criminal justice based interlock programs.
  • To date, professionals have been largely uninvolved in programs.
  • Program implementation has been inconsistent. Program guidelines are critical to ensure growth.
  • More education is need to ensure broad acceptance.
  • Dialogue with the criminal justice professionals is encouraged.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach67
Technology: a systems approach
  • This is a secure, continuous, remote, alcohol monitoring device - SCRAM.
  • It measures alcohol that is excreted through the skin in the form of constant, insensible perspiration.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach68
Technology: a systems approach
  • Almost all impaired driving offenders are ordered, as a condition of probation, to refrain from consuming alcohol.
  • Monitoring, in the form of existing blood, breath and urine protocols, is used infrequently and inconsistently.
  • As a result, sobriety among offenders has been notoriously difficult to enforce.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

technology a systems approach69
Technology: a systems approach
  • In the past decade, continuous alcohol testing technology has emerged – transdermal alcohol testing.
  • This passive, non-invasive test permits the continuous monitoring of offenders for alcohol consumption 24/7 at any location.
  • It is currently being used in 36 states.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

tirf initiative
TIRF initiative
  • Develop a package of 3 reports to assist criminal justice professionals.
    • overview of the research, technology and programs related to transdermal testing;
    • a practitioner’s guide for frontline professionals
    • an agency administrator’s handbook.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY

conclusions71
Conclusions
  • The criminal justice system is complex – pieces are interdependent.
  • There are cross-cutting issues that impact all phases of the system.
  • Fixing just one problem in one phase can have positive reverberations throughout the system.
  • Agencies should take an integrated approach instead of working as silos.
  • Agencies can work cooperatively and leverage consensus to effect change.

A DRIVING FORCE FOR SAFETY