Waging the Battle against Drunk Driving: Issues, Countermeasures, and Effectiveness

By Gerald D. Robin | Go to book overview

13
Deterring Drunk Driving

GENERAL DETERRENCE

The current approach taken to stem the tide of drunk driving is based on deterrence, as expressed in the variety of countermeasures discussed throughout this book. Is this crackdown on drunk driving working?

General deterrence refers to the impact of the new or strengthened drunk driving laws and related interventions on the driving behavior of the total (general) motoring population, and is typically measured by the number of alcohol-related fatalities. After four years of steady decline (11 percent) from 1982 to 1985, in 1986 the number of alcohol-related fatalities jumped to 24,000, a 7 percent increase over the previous year. 1 The 1986 reversal was particularly noticeable among adolescents: after dropping by 48 percent from 1980 to 1985, the number of deaths of legally intoxicated fifteen- to nineteen- year- old drivers increased by 9 percent in 1986 from the prior year. 2 Fatal single-vehicle nighttime crashes--considered the most reliable barometer of drunk driving--increased 7 percent in 1986 over 1985 for all age groups combined, after dropping 20 percent from 1980 to 1985. Single-vehicle nighttime fatalities among fifteen- to nineteen- year-olds evidenced a similar pattern of decline followed by a dramatic upswing (17 percent increase) in 1986. 3

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Waging the Battle against Drunk Driving: Issues, Countermeasures, and Effectiveness
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Drunk Driving Problem 1
  • 2 - Coming to Grips with Drunk Driving 7
  • 3 - The Police Response to Drunk Drivers 21
  • 4 - Sobriety Checkpoints 29
  • 5 - Preliminary Breath Tests 43
  • 6 - Administrative License Suspension 49
  • 7 - Prosecuting Drunk Drivers 57
  • 8 - Defending Drunk Drivers 67
  • 9 - Mandatory Sentences for Drunk Drivers 73
  • 10 - Impact of Mandatory Sentences on the Criminal Justice System 87
  • 11 - Non-Cruel and Unusual Punishment 93
  • 12 - Third Party Liability for Alcohol-Related Accidents 99
  • 13 - Deterring Drunk Driving 109
  • Notes 119
  • Selected Bibliography 135
  • Index 139
  • About the Author 145
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