P17: Law Enforcement Suspects Alcohol Use
Driver or non-motorist involved in the crash suspected by law enforcement to have used alcohol.
Unknown (from FARS Coding Manual): unable to take a position as to involvement (officer still may order an evidential test)
Alcohol - related crashes remain a serious traffic safety problem. Identifying crashes in which alcohol may have been involved will help evaluate the effectiveness of programs to decrease the incidence of drunk driving or to identify problem areas.
This element is used in part to develop the crash derived element Alcohol Involvement (CD7).
This element is reflective of the officer's opinion of the use (presence) of alcohol, not a judgment of quantity. The officer's opinion as to alcohol's contribution to the crash is recorded in the Driver and Non-Motorist Condition elements (P14, P24). It is based upon a factor or combination of factors such as:
- His or her on-scene evaluation (Observation, Behavioral/Field Sobriety Test, e.g. eye gaze/nystagmus, walking a line)
- BAC testing
- Other sources (witness statements, coroner's report)