In 2009, 10,000 people died in vehicle crashes where the driver was impaired by alcohol. Victims of impaired-driving accidents include not only those injured or killed but also their family members and friends. This paper identifies and discusses effective victim support and advocacy responses for those impacted by impaired driving crashes. Topics covered include provisions of impaired-driving laws, assistance for survivors, education of victim service providers, working with survivors at various stages of the aftermath of the crash, and advocating for the prevention of and effective responses to impaired driving. One section of the paper that addresses cultural sensitivity and reporting barriers focuses on the importance of considering the ethnic backgrounds of those impacted by such crashes. Barriers to victim assistance could include language, a hearing handicap, religious beliefs, immigration status, sexual orientation, diverse ethnic views of impaired driving, or varying cultural perspectives of law enforcement. A discussion of future considerations focuses on the importance of identifying and responding appropriately to causes of impaired driving such as alcohol and other drugs, texting, cell phone use, running traffic lights and stop signs, and drowsiness while driving.
For additional information on this topic go to https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/ abstract.aspx?ID=262652, September 2012, NCJ 240572.