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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69862 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Demographic Analysis of Persons Sentenced to Probation for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in Suffolk County (NY)
Author(s): B J Samson
Corporate Author: Suffolk County Probation Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 62
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Suffolk County Probation Dept
Yaphank, NY 11980
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reports the results of a field research project that investigates the demographic characteristics of a 1-year sample of persons convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and sentenced to probation supervision in 1974 in Suffolk County, N.Y.
Abstract: It also assesses probation supervision as a rehabilative tool and identifies needs for future probation program planning. The demographic profile of a sample of 239 persons convicted of drunk driving shows that 95.4 percent were male, median age was 37.9 years (males 37.8 and females 40.5), and the percentages of married and separated/divorced persons were 49 and 28.9, respectively. Skilled and unskilled labor composed a combined 55 percent of the total sample; the sample's unemployment rate was 14.6 percent, which was greatly in excess of the prevailing regional rate. A high percentage of those surveyed--77 percent--had prior convictions for driving and drinking charges, and one-third of the total sample (79) were multiple offenders prior to the current offense. Department of Motor Vehicles suspension and/or revocations of drivers' licenses had been incurred by 72.4 percent of the total group. The median blood/alcohol concentration (BAC) for those tested was twice the presumptive limit for driving while intoxicated. Frequency of prior DWI convictions was high, and 93 individuals in the total sample had convictions for other criminal behavior, including 13 with prior felony convictions. Probation officers' posttreatment assessment by incident frequency of prior DWI convictions resulted in the classification of 52 percent of 75 clients with prior DWI convictions as either not currently having or never having had an alcohol problem. This contrasts sharply with the 77 percent of the initial total sample of 239 cases that had prior DWI convictions. The probation officer's lack of knowledge of alcoholism as a progressive disease, coupled with the absence of test instrument criteria for documenting clients' severity level of alcohol abuse, are two possible reasons for disparity in study and probation officer findings. Recommended future program needs include (1) early identification of offenders with prior DWI convictions as part of court procedure, and (2) provision to probation officers of the means to assess the effects of alcohol upon clients. Forty references and seven tables are provided. The format of the sample questionnaire form, the presentence report of the Suffolk County Probation Department, the county police department's report, and a demographic profile by ethnic background of the sample population are appended.
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Conviction records; Demography; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); New York; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Probation statistics
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