SWOV Catalogus


Effects of criminal sanctions on drunk drivers : beyond incarceration.
C 12714 [electronic version only] /83 /73 / IRRD 817318
Wheeler, G.R. & Hissong, R.V.
Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 34 (1988), No. 1 (January), p. 29-42, 14 ref.

Samenvatting To assess the effectiveness of various sanctions for driving while intoxicated, the authors studied recidivism rates and timing among 397 DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders. (the subjects, 20 percent of the total number of offenders arrested in one Texas county during January 1984, were randomly selected.) Among the first offenders, 67 percent were granted probation, 18 percent were fined, and 15 percent sentenced to jail. Among those with a DWI conviction history, 15 percent were granted probation, 38 percent were fined, and 47 percent sentenced to jail. Recidivism rates 3 years later among first offenders were 8 percent for the jailed, 11 percent for the probationers, and 14 percent for the fined; among offenders with a DWI conviction history, recidivism rates were 25 percent for the jailed, 10 percent for the probationers, and 19 percent for the fined. Of the 397 offenders, 51 (12.8 percent) had committed additional DWI offences within 3 years. Persons with a DWI conviction history repeated their offences significantly sooner than first offenders. These findings call into question the efficacy of mandatory incarceration of all DWI offenders. Even taking into account pretrial detention, no specific criminal sanction emerged as a superior method for deterring drunk drivers. The fact that persons with a DWI conviction history who were sentenced to jail had the highest recidivism rate again raises doubt about the benefits of incapacitation. (A)
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