Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Related Deaths Demonstration Project

To address the emotional, psychological, physical and financial aftermath associated with DUI/Impaired Driving Related Deaths, this project builds upon existing community resources to develop a comprehensive response that addresses the often unmet and complex needs of survivors and family members. A multidisciplinary team in Palm Beach County is tasked with mapping the current service delivery system and creating an enhanced response wherein survivors and family members are immediately linked to evidence-based, trauma-informed services by well-trained first responders. This team will be led by Palm Beach County Victim Services.

Project partners include: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a surviving family member of a DUI/Impaired Driving related victim, the Office of the State Attorney, Palm Beach School District, Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition, the Victim’s Rights Coalition, and the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network.

Florida State University is the project research partner tasked with preparing a logic model, identifying needed data and appropriate data collection methods as part of an overall program evaluation. Data collection includes interviews and focus groups from agencies, service providers, law enforcement officers, and those survivors and family members who receive victim services. Outcome data includes policy/procedural changes in local agencies and organizations, judicial outcomes for DUI manslaughter and homicide cases, numbers of survivors and family members who received victim serves and the short-term outcomes associated with those services. This multidisciplinary response will serve as a model for others to replicate around the country, ultimately impacting the field of victim services.


Principal Investigator: Thomas Blomberg, Dean and Sheldon L. Messinger Professor of Criminology

Co-Principal Investigator: William Bales, Ph.D.

Lead Researcher: Jillian Turanovic, Ph.D.

Research Staff: George Pesta, Ph.D.

Graduate Student: Jacob McAllister

Project Partner (Lead Agency): Nicole Bishop, Division Director, Palm Beach County Victim Services (PBCVS)

Dates: 2017 – 2019

Funding Agency: Palm Beach County/Office of Victims of Crime/U.S. Department of Justice

Funding Amount: $579,965