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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 137125 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Court Monitoring and No-Plea Bargaining Laws on DWI Behavior, Enforcement, and Adjudication
Journal: Alcohol, Drugs and Driving  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1992)  Pages:17-31
Author(s): D Shinar
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for Statistics and Analysis
Washington, DC 20590
Grant Number: DTNH22-90-C-05129
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Court monitoring (CM) and no plea bargaining laws (NPBL's), two efforts designed to affect the process of adjudicating driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders, focus on the consistent application of DWI laws and penalties.
Abstract: CM is defined as the activity of concerned citizens who attend and monitor court sessions of drivers charged with DSI and related offenses. The monitor's primary goal is to promote the strict enforcement of DWI laws. Although court monitors do not intervene in the adjudication process, they generally make their presence known to all parties involved in the adjudication. NPBL's are State laws designed to eliminate plea bargaining to a lesser charge once a driver is originally charged with DWI. Studies of CM in New York, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Maine indicate that such monitoring can minimize the number of dropped or reduced charges. Once an individual is charged with a DWI offense, CM can increase the likelihood of conviction. When DWI offenders are stratified by blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the impact of monitoring appears to be primarily on the conviction of drivers with low or legally marginal BAC levels and drivers who refuse the test. The effectiveness of NPBL's has not been empirically demonstrated, although citizen groups support them. The few studies that have evaluated such laws indicate that they are effective in actually reducing plea bargaining. The impact of both CM and NPBL's on the more critical measures of driver behavior and alcohol-related accidents remains to be demonstrated. Recommendations to make CM and NPBL's more effective are offered. 22 references, 2 tables, and 2 figures
Main Term(s): Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Drunk offenders; Maine; Nebraska; New York; Plea negotiations; State laws; Tennessee
Note: Paper presented at an International Symposium on Problems with DWI Arrests, Convictions, and Sentencing, 1991, Santa Monica, California
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