Strategic Prevention Framework – State Incentive Grant
Reducing the Motor Vehicle Crash Rate among Alcohol-Impaired Drivers
In the Fall of 2011, the Prevention Council of Roanoke County submitted an application to serve as a community collaborator of the SPF SIG Project in Virginia. In February 2012, the Council was awarded the 3 year state incentive grant, and began working alongside 12 other grantee jurisdictions in the state of Virginia, to lower to Motor Vehicle Crash rate among alcohol-impaired drivers, ages 15-24. The impact of this grant is made more significant by the additional presence of the SPF SIG grant in Roanoke City, through the Roanoke Prevention Alliance, which when combined with the Council, blankets the greater Roanoke area with prevention and intervention funding to combat this critical public health issue.
In April 2010, the Commonwealth of Virginia entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) to administer the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) State Incentive Grant (SIG) Program authorized under Section 516 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. Per the agreement with CSAP, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services serves as the SPF-SIG administrator at the state level. Erika C. Fischer, Director of the Governor’s Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (GOSAP), serves as Chair of the SPF-SIG Advisory Council, which provides oversight and guidance for the Virginia SPF-SIG program. Following the recommendation of the State Epidemiological Workgroup (SEW), the SPF SIG Advisory Council adopted the priority of reducing motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) involving alcohol-impaired drivers who are between the ages of 15 and 24 years. It aims to reduce the consumption patterns, including underage drinking and binge drinking, that lead to these MVCs, not simply providing alternative transportation options.
Read the Virginia Strategic Plan HERE
The Prevention Council of Roanoke County is working alongside Drs. Kerry Redican and Steve Clarke, of Virginia Tech’s College of Population Health Science, in order to carry out this multi-year project. Drs. Redican and Clarke will be assisting in the collection of focus group data, survey analysis, and the overall project evaluation.
During Phase I of the SPF SIG grant, the Council is conducting a large Needs Assessment of the local conditions, attitudes, and enforcement practices that contribute to the MVC rate in the County. Over the course of the next year, the Council will be conducting focus groups, working with law enforcement, partnering with local colleges and employers, and analyzing new offenses and court records in order to understand the local issues in Roanoke County. From data collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2009 and 2010, a few critical findings surfaced during the first stages of the project:
•Roughly 40% of the drivers involved in the accidents in Roanoke County were actual residents; a combined 35% were residents of nearby Roanoke City and Salem
• Of the drivers, ages 15-24, the largest group of offenders were Males ages 18-20
• 56% of the crashes occurred between 12:00 AM and 4:00 AM.
• Approximately 36% of High School students reported using alcohol within a 30 day period (2010, Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
During Phase II of the SPF SIG project, the Council will implement a two year prevention and intervention plan, building off of the findings of Phase I, and using resources and contributions from all of its community partners, in order to lower the MVC rate in Roanoke County. The Prevention Council of Roanoke County is fortunate to have the long standing support of the following agencies, both as a community coalition, and as partners in the SPF SIG project:
• Board of Education
• Board of Supervisors
• Roanoke County Police Department
• Vinton Police Department
• Alcohol Beverage Control
• Sheriff’s Office
• RAYSAC, a prevention coalition in Roanoke City
• FRESH, a prevention coalition operating in Franklin County