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NCJ Number: 136744 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of "Tough" Drunk Driving Laws on Policing: A Case Study
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:38  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1992)  Pages:237-257
Author(s): P T Kinkade; M C Leone
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 21
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Limited time series and elite interview methodologies were used to assess the impact on policing of California's 1982 law mandating severe penalties for drunk driving.
Abstract: In general, American DUI laws, patterned after Scandinavian legislation, establish mandatory minimum sentences for violators and restrict the use of alternative sanctions. As a result, this type of law leads to jail population growth and eventual overcrowding. Police discretion is affected when the imposition of the law makes it difficult for individual officers to arrest other offenders who, because of the nature of their crimes, will not be held. This study measures misdemeanor arrest rates before and after the California DUI laws were implemented. The findings actually reveal a dramatic decrease in the number of DUI arrests, despite the enthusiastic support for the law by State law enforcement agencies. The number of other misdemeanor arrests also decreased, probably due to the depletion of police time and resources after passage of the law. 1 table, 2 figures, 1 note, and 35 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Crime specific law reform; Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; California; Legislative impact
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