SWOV Catalogus


Removing the "high" from the highways : the impact of Virginia's efforts to combat drug-related Driving Under the Influence DUI.
C 9603 [electronic version only] /83 /
Jernigan, J.D.
Charlottesville, VA, Virginia Transportation Research Council VTRC, 1992, 22 p., 16 ref.; VTRC 93-R8

Samenvatting In 1988, a revision to Virginia law required individuals suspected of drug-related driving under the influence (DUI) to submit a blood sample to be tested for drugs. Concurrently, a pilot Drug Recognition Technician (DRT) Program was initiated, which trains police officers to detect the signs of impairment consistent with seven categories of drugs. This study evaluated the impact of the law and the DRT program on arrests and convictions between 1988 and 1990. Additionally, the study investigated whether there was a spillover effect on alcohol-related arrests and convictions and on alcohol-related injury and fatality rates. The study results are discussed. Generally, if a drug was detected, there was a 40% to 0% DUI conviction rate depending on the type of drugs detected. If no drug was detected, the DUI conviction rate was less than 25%. Although the revised law encouraged officers to make more arrests for drug-related DUI, there is no evidence that it functioned to reduce fatalities and injuries. Further, even though the DRT program helped to increase arrests for drug-related DUI. DRT cases were no more likely than non-DRT cases to result in a conviction. However, there is some evidence that the DRT program had a positive influence on the arrest rate for alcohol-related DUI. Several recommendations are made for revitalizing both the DRT program and the statewide emphasis on drug-related DUI. (A)
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