The Resource Center on Impaired Driving represents the combined efforts of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the University of Wisconsin Law School. The Resource Center is designed to provide a wide range of alcohol-related data and legal information on impaired driving issues to judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement agencies, legislators, educators, and citizens. In addition, the Resource Center plays an integral role in education and training programs on developments in the drunk and drug-impaired driving fields.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) initially proposed the concept of a clearinghouse for information on operating while intoxicated and related issues in developing its Alcohol Traffic Safety Plan. The Plan, funded through federal highway safety grant monies and implemented by the DOT, identified public information and education as important countermeasures to the problem of impaired driving. A similar idea was also proposed in the Task Force Report on Repeat Offenders (1991).
The Resource Center on Impaired Driving is located in the law school Office of Continuing Legal Education and Outreach. The law school provides a natural setting because of substantial work done in the past on issues related to impaired driving. In addition, the Office of Continuing Legal Education and Outreach has had extensive experience in working with other state agencies, trial judges, and lawyers. This combined expertise, experience, and objectivity enhances the Resource Center's ability to develop effective responses to questions concerning impaired driving.
From the point of view of the law school and the university, the Resource Center on Impaired Driving provides an opportunity to be of service to the state in the tradition of "The Wisconsin Idea." Specifically, the Resource Center creates a partnership between state government and the university in addressing an issue of statewide importance.
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