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NCJ Number: 137124 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecutors and Drunk Driving: Choosing an Effective Role
Journal: Alcohol, Drugs and Driving  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1992)  Pages:1-15
Author(s): S Goldsmith
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The thesis that prosecutors should consider larger missions to include DWI (driving while intoxicated) accidents and injuries was studied in Indiana.
Abstract: In 1982, Indiana drunk drivers injured over 6,391 persons in 12,803 accidents. Prosecutors chose different missions to combat drunk driving. These missions related to increasing the certainty of conviction and speed of sanctioning through evidentiary and procedural improvements and to deterring repeat offenders through enhanced sentences. The development of per se law and its effect on convictions made it necessary to obtain more admissible breath test results. The law reform process identified two critical breath test goals: encourage drivers to fulfill their legal obligation to take the test, especially since enhanced penalties were foreseen to potentially trigger increased refusals; and legislatively remedy specific technical objections to admitting breath test results. Research measuring convictions, license suspension rates, and suspension lengths showed that the prosecutor achieved substantial legislative and courtroom goals: increasing suspensions and convictions and improving the extent of admissible evidence. Nonetheless, it was determined that prosecutors should seek a different goal: to solve problems related to DWI and look at more general estimates of the impact of alcohol-related accidents. The Indiana experience with legal and prosecutorial reforms resulted in a decrease in the percentage of accidents involving alcohol from 7.3 to 5.2 between 1983 and 1989. 34 references and 8 tables
Main Term(s): Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Alcohol-Related Offenses; Drunk offenders; Indiana; Prosecution; Traffic accidents
Note: Paper presented at an International Symposium on Problems with DWI Arrests, Convictions, and Sentencing, 1991, Santa Monica, California
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