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

Study of Outstanding DWI Warrants, Final Report

NCJ Number
C. H. Wiliszowski; C. E. Rodriguez-Iglesias; J. H. Lacey; R. K. Jones; E. Cyr
Date Published
July 2001
123 pages
This report presents findings from a study aimed at identifying the nature and extent of outstanding DWI warrants.
This study grew out of a concern about the large number of individuals arrested for DWI who failed to appear in court for adjudication and sentencing. The main objectives of the study included identifying the nature and extent of the problem of outstanding DWI warrants in local jurisdictions and identifying strategies to minimize the number of absconders within communities. In order to meet these objectives, the authors conducted focus groups, site studies, reviewed pertinent data, and conducted reviews of local programs for dealing with outstanding DWI warrants. While researching this issue some problems were encountered. First, some communities did not keep data relating to outstanding DWI warrants and, thus, could not assess their local problem. This problem was confounded by the fact that some jurisdictions were not forthcoming with data because they did not want to be identified as having an outstanding warrant problem. Other findings indicated that a lack of police resources prevented some jurisdictions from actively pursuing absconders and defaulters. The authors recommended two ways to solved this problem. First, the warrant squad should target offenders owing large amounts of money and then use that money to fund the warrant squad. Second, jurisdictions could privatize the process of finding absconders by handing the cases over to collection agencies. Overall, the findings suggest that there is a large problem with outstanding DWI warrants. The main difficulties in tackling this problem involve the collection of accurate data and in implementing effective solutions. The authors offer many recommendations for local jurisdictions. Furthermore, an analysis of each site visit, in 14 different States, is offered in this report, as well as a comparison of the different programs. Suggestions for improvement include implementing statewide data or record systems that would enable local jurisdictions to monitor their local problem.