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NCJ Number: 119643 Find in a Library
Title: Social Sciences and the Criminal Law: A Report on America's War Against Drunk Driving
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:25  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1989)  Pages:376-394
Author(s): J R Acker
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 18
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Most drivers have combined drinking and driving on at least one occasion, since Americans depend on the automobile, and alcoholic beverages are commonly consumed away from the home.
Abstract: Over 100 million Americans drink alcoholic beverages. Since there are many degrees of alcohol impairment, some people can consume significant amounts of alcohol and drive without discernible impairment while two beers can render others unsafe drivers. Only when the public defines driving while intoxicated as morally condemnable behavior can a significant reduction in its consequences take place. In Scandinavian countries, where tough anti-DWI laws have been implemented, there has been reflected a negative public sentiment toward driving drunk. In the United States, it appears that both the public and the legal system have begun to assume a less forgiving attitude toward those who drive drunk. The law needs to formulate deterrence-based measures against drinking and driving, and implement innovative strategies designed to discourage and prevent driving while intoxicated. The correlation between public attitudes that reflect negative sentiment toward driving while intoxicated and the effect of those attitudes on promoting legislation to enforce more stringent DWI laws to curtail drunk drivers is examined. 110 references.
Main Term(s): Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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