California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 28

This application is intended for use by Law Enforcement Officers .
It is a screening tool to assist in the identification of cognitively impaired drivers encountered during the course of patrol duties . It is to be used as part of an officer ’ s investigation of the totality of circumstances to determine when a driver reexamination referral to DMV should be completed .
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Training , Research and Education for Driving Safety University of California San Diego 858‐534‐9330
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TRAINING TOOLS TO IDENTIFY COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS

Linda Hill , MD , MPH Training , Research and Education for Driving Safety University of California San Diego

Law enforcement contacts

always include unknown factors . Whether it ’ s a call of a person behaving oddly , an irate customer at a business , or a roadside contact with a confused driver , officers are required to make quick decisions to avoid danger and quickly find solutions to these problems .
In the example of confused drivers , it is unknown how many motor vehicle crashes involve persons affected by cognitive impairment . We do know that medical conditions , medications , and cognitive impairment have the potential to interfere with the ability to drive safely , and the prevalence of these conditions is higher in older drivers . By 2030 , one in five drivers in the U . S . will be over age 65 . With the rising age of our population , the risks associated with cognitive impairment in older drivers is a problem that needs to be addressed .
Law enforcement is often lenient with older drivers out of respect , compassion or identification with a parent or grandparent . The impact that one unsafe older driver can have on themselves , other drivers or pedestrians can be devastating . The proper identification of cognitive impairment causing unsafe driving can prevent injury and fatal collisions in our communities .
The Training , Research and Education for Driving Safety ( TREDS ) program at the University of California San Diego ( UCSD ) has resources available to assist law enforcement in the identification and management of drivers with cognitive impairment . In collaboration with law enforcement , TREDS developed the Driver Orientation Screen for Cognitive Impairment , or DOSCI , to assist officers in assessing a driver ’ s cognitive status and their ability to safely continue driving .
The DOSCI is available as a laminated card , which fits into a ticket book , and as a smartphone application . It allows officers to screen for orientation to person , place , and time by asking nine routine questions such as “ What is your date of birth ?” and uses a scale for weighing responses . It also provides resources and contact information to assist in making referrals when impairment is detected . A
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10-minute video that provides instruction on the use of the DOSCI tool can be viewed at http :// bit . ly / dosci .
Additional online training videos that describe the impact medical conditions can have on driving and demonstrate use of the DOSCI during a law enforcement contact can be found at the TREDS website on the page designated for law enforcement , treds . ucsd . edu / law-enforcement . A password can be issued for use within your agency .
In-person training , delivered by law enforcement professionals , is also available as either a 2-hour POST-certified course entitled “ Law Enforcement ’ s Role in Older Driver Safety ” or a 30-minute abbreviated version suitable for shift change briefings .
While situations involving older drivers may be challenging , properly screening drivers for impairments protects the driver , other roadway users , and our communities from harm . To schedule a training or request free DOSCI cards , contact TREDS at treds @ ucsd . edu or call ( 858 ) 534-9330 . ■

BENEFITS OF THE DOSCI

Assists in identifying cognitive impairment in drivers
Provides valuable information to the dmv for reexamination evaluation
Documents impairment at time of traffic stop