U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Prosecutors Perspective: Drunk Driving

NCJ Number
Prosecutors Perspective Dated: (Summer 1993) Pages: complete issue
Date Published
16 pages
Articles in this volume, which review other journal articles, explore various aspects of effective criminal justice sanctions for people who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The first article in this journal reviews two pieces that examine the effectiveness of current DUI sanctions. One reviewed article questions whether mandatory jail laws deter drunk driving, while the second questions whether other sanctions, including license revocation, the use of technological devices to prevent driving with an elevated blood alcohol level, and other quickly and easily administered sanctions, can be effective deterrents. Another article summarized here promotes the development and use of long-term alternative sentencing programs to reduce DUI recidivism, arguing that extensive incarceration for repeat offenders does little to save lives. An author reviewed here addresses the different missions of prosecutors in combating drunk drivers, maintaining that they should first and foremost focus on the need to reduce deaths and injuries. There is some evidence that drivers will avoid driving while drunk because of the threat of shame and embarrassment should they be arrested and/or cause an accident. Other sanctions which are analyzed in these articles include legislative reform, including reduction in plea bargaining and implementation of a harsher penalty structure; fines, probation, and jail sentences; and a deterrence-through-fright program for youthful DUI offenders.