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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78037 Find in a Library
Title: Factors Associated With Police Evaluation of Drinking in Fatal Highway Crashes
Journal: Journal of Safety Research  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1971)  Pages:35-41
Author(s): J A Waller
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: One of a series of studies focusing on the relationship between alcohol and highway fatalities in California, this paper addresses police accuracy in evaluating the alcohol factor in fatal crashes.
Abstract: Data from all highway fatalities of appropriate age and duration of survival in Alameda and Sacramento Counties. Calif., during January through March and October through December, 1960-67, were considered. Autopsies and blood alcohol determinations were completed on over 98 percent of the fatalities studied. Police reports were available in the coroners' offices. Police estimates of drinking by fatally injured drivers and pedestrians as recorded on police reports were compared with actual blood alcohol concentrations determined by the coroner. Over 20 percent of the time, alcohol was not mentioned in the police report. When alcohol was mentioned, its presence was usually underestimated. Alcohol was least likely to be reported among persons age 60 or older, pedestrians, nonresponsible fatalities, and drivers of new cars. It was most often reported among younger persons, drivers responsible for two-vehicle crashes, and drivers of older cars. One figure, four tables, and 11 references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Blood/body fluid analysis; California; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Fatalities; Police discretion; Police effectiveness; Police reports; Studies
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