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Costs and Benefits of a Community Sobriety Checkpoint Program

NCJ Number
Journal of Studies on Alcohol Volume: 59 Issue: 4 Dated: July 1998 Pages: 462-468
T R Miller; M S Galbraith; B A Lawrence
Date Published
7 pages
This article compares the costs and the estimated monetary benefits from a hypothetical community sobriety checkpoint program.
Alcohol-involved crashes cost society more than 100 billion dollars a year. Sobriety checkpoints are effective in apprehending drunk drivers. This analysis was constructed around a hypothetical community with 100,000 licensed drivers. A literature review suggested that a generously funded intensive checkpoint program (156 checkpoints per year) could be expected to reduce alcohol-attributable crashes by about 15 percent. The cost savings of the checkpoint program were calculated using 1993 alcohol-involved crash incidence from the National Highway Safety Administration. Estimated annual savings to the hypothetical community totaled $7.9 million. This includes $3.1 million for averted fatalities, $4.5 million for averted non-fatal injuries, and $300,000 for averted property damage. Every dollar spent on a sobriety checkpoint program can be expected to save the community more than $6, including $1.30 of insurer costs. Tables, figure, references