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Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving: Intervention Training Programs for Servers of Alcoholic Beverages

This review and Task Force finding has been replaced by the 2010 Task Force recommendation for Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training to Prevent Excessive Alcohol Consumption.

These programs provide education and training to servers of alcoholic beverages with the goal of altering their serving practices to prevent customer intoxication and alcohol-impaired driving. Practices may include offering customers food with drinks, delaying service to rapid drinkers, refusing service to intoxicated or underage consumers, and discouraging intoxicated customers from driving.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends server training programs, under certain conditions, based on sufficient evidence of their effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle crash fatalities.

Task Force Finding

Results from the Systematic Reviews

Five studies qualified for the systematic review.

  • Intoxicated drinkers: decreased proportion ranging from 17% to 100% with a median equal to 33% (3 studies)
  • Single-vehicle nighttime injury crashes: decrease of 23% (1 study)
  • Training programs led to significant improvements in observed server behaviors following an intensive (4.5-6 hour) training (2 studies).
  • Most of the evidence reviewed comes from small-scale studies where the study participants may have been unusually motivated and the researchers influenced the design and implementation of the server training.
  • The findings of positive effects are limited to those programs that provided face-to-face training, and involve strong management support.
  • These results may not apply to typical server intervention training programs that do not include these elements.

These results are based on a systematic review of all available studies led by scientists from CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention with input from a team of specialists in systematic review methods and experts in research, practice and policy related to reducing alcohol-impaired driving.

Supporting Materials


Shults RA, Elder RW, Sleet DA, et al. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 67 kB] Am J Prev Med  2001;21(4S):66–88.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Recommendations to reduce injuries to motor vehicle occupants: increasing child safety seat use, increasing safety belt use, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 2.30 MB] Am J Prev Med 2001;21(4S):16–22.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor-vehicle occupant injury: strategies for increasing use of child safety seats, increasing use of safety belts, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. MMWR Recommendations and Reports 2001;50(RR07):1-13. External Web Site Icon

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor vehicle occupant injury. Adobe PDF File [PDF - 355 kB] In : Zaza S, Briss PA, Harris KW, eds. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health? Atlanta (GA): Oxford University Press;2005:329-84.

Read other Community Guide publications about Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention in our library.


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation:
Guide to Community Preventive Services. Reducing alcohol-impaired driving: intervention training programs for servers of alcoholic beverages Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: November 2001