SWOV Catalogus

74035

LIBERALIZATION AND RATIONALIZATION OF DRUNK-DRIVING LAWS IN SCANDINAVIA.
I 282851 /83 / IRRD 282851
Ross, H.L. Klette, H. & McCleary, R.
Accident Analysis & Prevention. 1984 /10/11. 16(5/6) Pp471-87 (22 Refs.)

Samenvatting A REVIEW OF RECENT SCANDINAVIAN LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE FINDS THAT TENDENCIES TO LIBERALIZATION AND RATIONALIZATION ARE BECOMING EVIDENT IN THE APPROACH TO CONTROLLING DRUNK DRIVING. IMPRISONMENT IS LESS OFTEN USED AS A STANDARD PENALTY, ESPECIALLY IN FINLAND, DENMARK, AND SWEDEN, AND THERE IS INCREASING USE OF FINES AND THERAPEUTICALLY-ORIENTED SENTENCES. THE DEGREE OF PUNITIVENESS IN SENTENCING IS BEING MORE CLOSELY RELATED TO WHAT MAY BE PERCEIVED AS THE MORAL QUALITY OF THE OFFENSE, SUCH AS THE QUANTITY OF ALCOHOL IN THE OFFENDER'S BLOOD AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE OFFENDER IS A REPEATER. SCANDINAVIAN LAW HAS BEEN RATIONALIZED PARTLY THROUGH THE ADOPTION IN DENMARK AND FINLAND OF CHEMICAL TEST-BASED DEFINITIONS OF THE DRINKING DRIVING OFFENSE, AND THE PROVISION IN ALL FOUR NORTHERN COUNTRIES OF AUTHORITY FOR POLICE TO CONDUCT "RANDOM" BREATH TEST OF DRIVERS. ANALYSIS OF DRUNK-DRIVING INDEXES SUGGESTS THAT THE LIBERALIZATION HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT A SIGNIFICANT PRICE BEING PAID IN TERMS OF NUMBERS OF IMPAIRED DRIVERS ON THE HIGHWAYS. THERE IS SOME SUGGESTION THAT "RANDOM" TESTING HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR INCREASES IN DETERRENCE, BUT THE VERY RESTRAINED USE OF THIS TECHNIQUE PREVENTS FIRM CONCLUSIONS AT THIS TIME. THE CONTINUED COMMITMENT OF THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES TO A CRIMINAL-LAW APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM OF DRUNK DRIVING SEEMS PARADOXICAL IN THE LIGHT OF EVIDENCE THAT IN THESE COUNTRIES IT IS A VERY SMALL AND CLINICALLY IDENTIFIABLE FRACTION OF THE POPULATION THAT DRINKS AND DRIVES.(Author/publisher).
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