UNDER THE INFLUENCE CHARACTERISTICS AND DRINKING PRACTICES OF PERSONS ARRESTED THE FIRST TIME FOR DRUNK DRIVING, WITH TREATMENT IMPLICATIONS

The objective of the study was to investigate the incidence and severity of alcohol use and abuse in a population of persons arrested in Philadelphia for the first time for driving while intoxicated. This population, not assumed to be problem drinkers, allowed for approaches directed to encouraging a more responsible use of alcohol especially so far as drinking and driving is concerned, since each person had the option of attending a psychological evaluation unit and an alcohol safe-driving school rather than being prosecuted. Different aspects of behavior were measured through two sets of questions and an alcohol impairment index was developed. For first offenders, the relationships between age, drug use, family drinking pattern, socioeconomic class, and level of alcohol abuse were analyzed. Three levels of impairment were described based on frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption. The degree of impairment of the first offenders was greater than expected in the general population, while the relationship between age and alcohol impairment showed a remission after 40 for the heavier drinkers, and an increase for light "social" drinkers. The changes shown to occur in this group of offenders without apparent intervention suggests that at least a portion of problem drinking is related to sociopsychological events and crises. The results of the study explain to some extent why laws, punishment, and appeals to reason and intelligence have not effectively deterred prsons under the influence of alcohol from operating motor vehicles. Because of the complex legal, social, psychological, and medical ramifications involved, "driving under the influence" is a social problem that requires integration of the criminal justice system with the mental health system for its efficient management. /MSA/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Government Printing Office

    Superintendent of Documents
    Washington, DC  USA  20402-9325
  • Authors:
    • Fine, E W
    • Scoles, P
    • Mulligan, M
  • Publication Date: 1975-9

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141704
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 30 1977 12:00AM