This paper discusses some preliminary data that may explain why legal processes frequently are not effective in deterring illegal drunken driving behavior. About 90% of the persons arrested on DWI charges in Vermont are convicted of some charge, although slightly less than 60% are convicted of the original offense. Almost 40% of the cases remain on the trail docket for substantial periods of time, making extended delays a common practice. What remains is a picture of disorderly and probably unjust administration of justice. Two tentative proposals that would modify DWI laws and would not require heavy costs are: (1) Surrender of the offender's driver's license to the magistrate at arraignment after a hearing on the spot. This procedure would pressure offenders to seek early disposition of their cases. (2) Alternative penalities that are strong enough to make potential offenders modify their behavior, e.g., work release sentencing; violation would convert into a regular jail sentence. We should refurbish our procedures and penalities so as to make it undesirable to become involved in the processes of the law. We should get the word out as to what modes of behavior are unacceptable and what happens to offenders.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • A slightly modified version of a talk given at the ABA Advanced Traffic Court Seminar, New York Hilton Hotel, NY, 3 July 1971.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Florida, Gainesville

    College of Law
    Gainesville, FL  United States  32601
  • Authors:
    • Little, J W
  • Publication Date: 1971-7-3

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 11 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141947
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 13 1977 12:00AM