AN ANALYSIS OF THE JUDICIAL DISPOSITION OF ALCOHOL RELATED TRAFFIC ARRESTS

This investigation examines two primary aspects of the South Dakota judicial system and its interaction with the South Dakota Alcohol Safety Action Project (DS:ASAP). The first aspect to be considered examines the distribution of judicial dispositions as they are related to key parameters within SD:ASAP, including the type of court, the type of enforcement procedures, the BAC levels of defendants, the resulting referral actions, and the assignment of judicial sanctions. The primary methods of examining these relationships were the chi square analysis and the variance test for the homogeneity of a binomial distribution. The second portion of this investigation examined the personal characteristics of individuals processed by the judicial system and their relationships to the assignment of dispositions. The multiple group discriminant analysis was primarily used to make these determinations. Results from the first phase of this investigation indicated that there were several dissimilarities between courts in the assignment of dispositions, with the Sioux Falls municipal court system generating an inflated amount of reduced-charge dispositions, and the tribal court systems demonstrating an increased number of acquitted/dismissed dispositions. A slight decrease in the percentage of cases assigned a guilty disposition for SWI arrests was also observed from 1972 to 1973. Further analysis indicated that there was no systematic bias in the distribution of dispositions related to which type of law enforcement activity generated the arrest, either ASAP patrol or regular patrol. These analyses also indicated that although a large percentage of individuals with BAC levels below 0.10% BAC, the State's presumptive limit, were assigned acquitted/dismissed or reduced-charge dispositions, there were still a large percentage of individuals with BAC level of above 0.10% at the time of arrest who were assigned dispositions other than guilty of DWI. This phase of the investigation also indicated an increased utilization of SD:ASAP treatment processes by the court system and a consistent pattern in the assignment of judicial sanctions. The second phase of this investigation examined the age, BAC level at time of arrest, and the number of previous arrests for individuals assigned different judicial dispositions. It was determined that the BAC level produced the primary contribution to discrimination between disposition groups. /HSRI/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This project is sponsored by the Alcohol Safety Action Project, Pierre, So. Dak., and NHTSA's Office of Alcohol Countermeasures.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of South Dakota, Vermillion

    Human Factors Laboratory
    Vermillion, SD  USA  57069
  • Authors:
    • Lees, M A
  • Publication Date: 1974-5

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 83 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00264962
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SD:ASAP No. 4, HS-802 755
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-045-1-061
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1983 12:00AM