Empowering Law Enforcement Officers from the Dominican Republic to Tackle Drinking and Driving

UNITAR

26-28 March 2019, Merida, Mexico – UNITAR and the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Merida (CIFAL Merida) in collaboration with the Secretary of Public Safety of the State of Yucatan and the Municipality of Merida, with the support of Diageo hosted a three-day in-depth training workshop for law enforcement officers from the Dominican Republic to strengthen their capacities to implement breathalyzer campaigns in the Dominican Republic. 

UNITAR’s Road Safety Global Initiative aims to- through training and public awareness, contribute to reduce by half road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020. This training workshop titled “High Visibility Enforcement Programme for Road Safety” specifically seeks to help targeted countries advance towards the achievement of the Global Road Safety Performance Target 9: “by 2030, halve the number of road traffic injuries and fatalities related to drivers using alcohol. 

During the three-day training workshop, 24 Law Enforcement Officers from the Dominican Republic, including officials from the National Institute of Transit and Transport (Instituto Nacional de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre - INTRANT), the National Safety Agency for Transit and Transport (Dirección General de Seguridad de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre, DIGESETT) and the National Road Safety School (Escuela Nacional de Educación Vial - ENEVIAL), along with 60 Law Enforcements Officers representing 40 municipalities from the State of Yucatan, Mexico took part in the workshop. 

The workshop provided law enforcement officers from the Dominican Republic and Mexico with technical and practical knowledge on the following topics:

  • The UN global framework related to road safety
  • High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) as a universal traffic safety approach designed to change unlawful traffic behaviours
  • Protocols to run and operate a breathalyzer checkpoint to tackle drinking and driving 
  • Education and public awareness campaigns to promote a voluntary change and compliance with the law

The Programme “Alcoholimetro” implememted by the Secretary of Public Safety of the State of Yucatan in Mexico for over 15 years served as a best practice for law enforcement officials from the Dominican Republic to learn from and adapt to their own context. In addition, they were able to observe how a breathalyzer checkpoint is executed by police officers in Merida and how to interact with the media and community at large. During the workshop, officials were also able to learn about the different media and public awareness campaigns implemented by the Secretary of Public Safety of Yucatan to educate citizens on the need of adopting a respectful traffic culture.  

As a result of this workshop, law enforcement officers from DIGESETT and INTRANT have been empowered with knowledge and tools to implement high visibility enforcement programmes to reduce drinking and driving in the Dominican Republic. In the upcoming months, the Government of the Dominican Republic plans to launch a HVE Programme that includes the implementation of breathalyzer checkpoints and a national public awareness campaign. The Secretary of Public Safety of the State of Yucatan, UNITAR, CIFAL Merida and Diageo is committed to continue supporting the efforts of the Dominican Republic as they launch their first-ever High Visibility Enforcement Programme aimed at reducing fatalities and injuries related to drinking and driving.

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