For drivers in St. Clair and Bibb Counties, coming across a road block while driving under the influence actually resulted in some extra cash rather than jail time. Researchers of the nonprofit organization, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, were actively looking for volunteers to donate blood and saliva samples as part of a drunk driving survey this past weekend. The institute even constructed large signs on the sides of roads in the two counties hoping to attract drivers to participate in the “paid volunteer survey.”
Drivers who provided a saliva sample received $10 in compensation and those donating blood samples received $50. Off-duty police officers collected these samples anonymously so no one could be found guilty for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs by volunteering in the paid study.
This study was paid for by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. While only five roadblocks were set up this weekend in each of the two counties, the NHTSA hopes to set up 60 more throughout the country before October.
The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation conducted a similar study in 2007 which surveyed drivers on late weekend hours. The 2007 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug use by Drivers found that there was a large decline in drivers with a blood-alcohol level at or above the legal limit. It also found that that the most common drugs found in nighttime drivers were marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.