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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98642 Find in a Library
Title: Trial Judges' Views on Driving-Under-the-Influence
Author(s): T A Cowan; L P Robbins; J R Meszaros
Corporate Author: University of Pennsylvania
Wharton School
Social Systems Sciences Dept
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 48
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Publication Number: 85-01
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To examine attitudes toward driving under the influence (DUI) laws and their enforcement, a 6-page questionnaire was mailed to 1,038 trial judges in Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Maryland, and California.
Abstract: The response rate was 60 percent. Analyses of responses indicate that judges generally favored stronger DUI laws and increased severity of penalties. Most of the judges felt that current laws overemphasize the objective of retribution and underemphasize the objectives of rehabilitation and deterrence. Judges who most favored mandatory sentencing were more likely to believe that such sentencing would have deterrent effects and that deterrence was most affected by severity of punishment. Those judges least in favor of mandatory sentencing felt that certainty of punishment had greater deterrent value than severity or speed of disposition. However, the judges also felt that mandatory sentencing would decrease the probability of offenders being sentenced. All of the judges were more likely to favor mandatory sentences for repeat offenders than for first offenders. License suspension was the preferred disposition for repeat offenders. Fines, rehabilitative and educational programs, and license revocation were the preferred dispositions for first offenders. In general, judges viewed the law as adequate but far from optimal. Also, judges preferred multiple dispositions to single sentences. Finally, many judges expressed concern over the actual effectiveness of various dispositional alternatives. Eight footnotes, graphs, and detailed tabular data on judges', responses are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Colorado; Criminal justice research; Dispositions; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Drunk offenders; Georgia (USA); Judicial attitudes; Mandatory Sentencing; Maryland; Pennsylvania; Wisconsin
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