Impaired driving is one of the most pressing traffic safety challenges facing federal, state, and local highway and traffic safety programs. A critical element to the planning, management, and evaluation of any highway safety program is the availability of quality traffic records data. Analyzing reliable and accurate data are crucial to identifying the extent of the driving while intoxicated (DWI) problem and designing effective countermeasures to reducing deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving crashes.
Texas does not have an integrated statewide DWI tracking system (DWITS) which is a powerful shared and information management tool that would allow the State to track DWI offenders from arrest through disposition. Texas uses other data systems that can provide some of the data that would be accessible through a DWITS; however, that data is neither complete nor provided in real-time. Without a DWITS, the State’s ability to coordinate an effective impaired driving program is limited.
In FY 2017, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) received a grant funded by the Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to assess the feasibility of developing a DWITS in Texas. To determine the feasibility of a DWITS in Texas, TTI conducted several activities, including surveying other states that had implemented a DWITS and conducting interviews with DWI stakeholders in Texas identify gaps in the current DWI system.
Texas is missing many components of a fully functioning DWITS and currently lacks the necessary support for a DWITS. Given these constraints, it is currently not feasible for the State to build a DWITS. However, this report provides a framework for the foundation that is needed to support the development of a DWITS in Texas.