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NCJ Number: 93668 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Driving Under the Influence - The Law and Enforcement
Journal: PAPPC Journal  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1984)  Pages:66-73
Author(s): M R Davis
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper surveys laws regulating driving while under the influence of alcohol (DWI) in the United States and European countries, with attention to Pennsylvania's law, the concentration of blood alcohol (BAC) as a measure of intoxication, and problems in enforcing DWI laws.
Abstract: It is a crime to drive while intoxicated in all 50 States. While DWI is not a new problem, statistical evidence regarding population growth, alcohol consumption, and driving habits indicates that it is growing steadily in size and impact. No two State statutes are identical, and many add qualifiers to the wording. Although several have chosen .10 percent BAC as the point at which a person is legally intoxicated, others have set ranges for figures above and below .10 percent. However, 16 States have enacted laws which provide that a person driving with a specific BAC is guilty of a DWI offense. Several Supreme Court decisions have upheld the constitutionality of .10 percent illegal per se laws, which do not allow a rebuttal of guilt. Extensive research shows that the driving ability of persons with a .10 percent BAC is impaired. Scientific measures to test BAC levels have improved considerably, and breath testing equipment has become a routine police tool. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration has outlined a six-part police enforcement model for DWI offenses: detection, apprehension, transportation, test and record, incarceration, and testifying. Most foreign countries take the DWI situation more seriously than the United States and consequently have laws with more severe penalties that lean towards the state regarding elements of provability, such as the per se laws enacted by Scandinavian countries in the 1940's. In the United States, the chances of being arrested for DWI are still very low despite the new, stricter laws. The article includes 17 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Pennsylvania; State laws
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