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NCJ Number: 131534 Find in a Library
Title: Effectiveness of Legal Sanctions in Dealing with Drinking Drivers
Journal: Alcohol, Drugs and Driving  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(April-June 1990)  Pages:33-60
Author(s): J L Nichols; H L Ross
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 27
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Legal sanctions, whether administered by the courts or by State licensing agencies, are central to deterrence-based policies for reducing alcohol-impaired driving.
Abstract: They are the punishments threatened in support of the law's mandate. Examples are fines, license actions such as suspension and revocation, jail sentences, and community service. Deterrence theory posits that sanctions will be effective in modifying behavior to the extent that they are perceived as being certain, swiftly applied, and severe. This review of the literature on legal sanctions for drunk drivers finds that policies based on increasing the certainty and swiftness of punishment have more frequently been shown to have deterrent impact than policies based on increasing the severity of punishment. Policies based on severity also appear to entail greater costs in their implementation. Furthermore, the review finds that among the types of sanctions typically used for driving while intoxicated (DWI), license actions such as suspension and revocation, which are based primarily on increasing the swiftness and certainty of punishment, appear to be most effective. The evidence leads to the recommendation that deterrence-based drunk-driving countermeasures should focus on increasing the risk of detection and punishment for violators rather than increasing the severity of punishment , and that primary emphasis among the types of sanctions to be applied to drunk drivers should be given to license actions. 84 references (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness; Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Crime detection; Interpersonal relations; Legislative impact
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