CHICAGO'S CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING

ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF A MANDATORY MINIMUM 7-DAY JAIL SENTENCE FOR PERSONS CONVICTED OF DRIVING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL PROVED INCONCLUSIVE. THIS CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING WAS INSTITUTED INITIALLY FOR THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY PERIOD OF 1970 AND WAS THEN EXTENDED FOR AN INDEFINITE AMOUNT OF TIME. THE LACK OF AN IMPLIED CONSENT STATUTE AND NONUNIFORM ENFORCEMENT OF THE CRACKDOWN WERE SEEN AS INTERFERING WITH ITS EFFECTIVENESS. TOTAL TRAFFIC FATALITIES AND SERIOUS ACCIDENTS SHOWED A REDUCTION DURING THE CRACKDOWN PERIOD AS COMPARED WITH THE SAME PERIOD OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR. IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER A REDUCTION OF DRUNK DRIVING CONTRIBUTED TO THE REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES AND SERIOUS ACCIDENTS, DATA ON BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT AND TIME OF ACCIDENT WERE EXAMINED. BLOOD-ALCOHOL-POSITIVE FATALITIES DID NOT DECREASE WITH ACCIDENT FATALITIES, THUS GIVING NO EVIDENCE THAT A REDUCTION IN DRUNK DRIVING WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DECREASE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES. PREVIOUS RESEARCH HAS INDICATED A CLOSE LINKAGE BETWEEN SERIOUS AND FATAL NIGHTTIME ACCIDENTS AND THE PRESENCE OF ALCOHOL AS AN INVOLVED OR CAUSATIVE FACTOR. DURING THE CRACKDOWN PERIOD SERIOUS BUT NOT FATAL NIGHTTIME ACCIDENTS SHOWED A RELATIVELY SHARP DECREASE BUT NO SIMILAR DECREASE IN DAYTIME ACCIDENTS WAS OBSERVED. THIS IS THE PATTERN MOST CONSISTENT WITH DECREASING LEVELS OF DRUNK DRIVING AS AN EXPLANATION OF DECREASES IN ACCIDENT LEVELS. /AUTHOR/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • 34 Pp, Tabs, REFS
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Chicago

    Center for Studies In Criminal Justice
    Chicago, IL  USA 
  • Authors:
    • Zimring, F E
  • Publication Date: 1971-8

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00221588
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 16 1972 12:00AM