Study Sites

Cover Page

Technical Report

Technical Summary


List of Tables


Study Sites

Observational Study

Focus Group Research



The selection of two study sites was based on methodological and logistical considerations. States were sought with licensing sanctions, in law and in practice, that ensured that most first-time alcohol-impaired driving offenders experienced a license suspension of sufficient length that observations could be conducted. If a state allowed offenders to receive an "occupational" or "conditional" license during the suspension period (that is, a "soft" suspension versus a "hard" suspension"), it was essential that detailed information on the terms of the occupational license be available. Preference was given to states in which most, if not all, first-time offenders received a hard suspension.

Other criteria for the selection of sites included the following:

  • support for the study by the state highway safety office

  • availability of timely, detailed, case-level data on alcohol-impaired driving arrests and dispositions, and on administrative and judicial license sanctions

  • reliance by most residents on their vehicle (rather than walking, using mass transit, or riding a bicycle or motorcycle) as the primary mode of transportation

Sites were sought that were generally representative of the alcohol-impaired driving arrest and adjudication systems found in various parts of the country and that were neither unusually poor nor unusually affluent. An important logistical consideration was that the sites needed to be located in close proximity to Pinkerton offices, which are located in a number of major metropolitan areas throughout the country.

The two sites selected were the City of Milwaukee in Wisconsin and Bergen County, New Jersey. The socio-demographic profiles of the two sites differ considerably. Located on Lake Michigan, the City of Milwaukee is an industrial city. Based on U.S. Census data for 1997, the city has over 613,000 residents, and the median annual household income is about $33,000. The city is ethnically diverse, including 56 percent non-Hispanic white residents, 35 percent African-American or black residents, 8 percent Latino or Hispanic residents, 2 percent Asian residents, and 1 percent Native American residents.

Bergen County is a densely populated county in northern New Jersey. Based on 2000 U.S. Census data, the county's population is about 884,000. The median annual household income is about $60,000. The primary minority groups are Asian residents (11 percent), African-American or black residents (5 percent), and Hispanic or Latino residents (10 percent).