This study examines the extent to which DUI offenders in jail are a unique and naive jail population by utilizing interview data from three national surveys of jail inmates (1972, 1978, and 1983). In 1983 it was possible to compare traffic, DUI, and other jail inmates. The 1972 and 1978 surveys combined DUI and traffic offenders. Thus, comparisons across time utilize the combination of DUI and other traffic offenders, whereas the detailed analysis of 1983 data differentiate traffic, DUI, and other jail inmates. By focusing on a jail population, the study necessarily underrepresents young drinking and driving offenders and those with the fewest contacts with the law. Nevertheless, the jail survey shows that traffic offenders, and DUI offenders in particular, are a large population within the nation's jails. In 1983, for example, DUI is the third most common offense for which inmates are in jail, following burglary and armed robbery. Thus, while the offenders in this study are by no means representative of all traffic or DUI offenders, they are a relatively large offender population which merits careful study. Overall, the findings suggest that traffic offenders (including DUI offenders) are different from other jail inmates, but they are hardly innocents in regards to their experiences with the legal system and with jail. While their prior legal problems are for less serious offenses than is true for other types of jail inmate, they nevertheless are just as likely to have had prior exposure to the jail environment. At the same time, their greater ties to the community may make their jail time particularly difficult if it threatens their job or the stability of their family.

  • Corporate Authors:

    AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

    607 14th Street, NW, Suite 201
    Washington, DC    20005
  • Authors:
    • Weisheit, R A
    • Klofas, J M
  • Publication Date: 1990-2-1

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 88 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00494873
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1990 12:00AM