AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF ALCOHOL SAFETY ACTION PROJECT ON THE TRAFFIC SAFETY SYSTEM. FINAL ANALYSIS OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. SECTION II. ANALYTICAL STUDY IV, 1972-1975

Data on the disposition of DWI court cases in Puerto Rico for 1974-75 indicated that the conviction rate of all Superior Court Parts was 63.7% of disposed cases. More than 50.0% of all cases pleaded guilty at arraignment. Among contested cases, the conviction rate was only 18.9%, acquittals were 53.0%, and dismissals 27.9% for calendar year 1974. It was felt that the large number of DWI arrests contributed to the increase in absolute number of DWI convictions but led to a decrease in percentage of conviction. In nearly all instances, the judges accepted the diagnosis and recommendations of the ASAP Probation Officers based on pre-sentence investigations. License suspensions were used in two-thirds of the cases. Fines amounting to about $100 on the average remained the primary sanction for DWI offenders in Puerto Rico. The major punishment for DWI offenders was short-term incarceration for those who could not put up the bail, and fines in the form of high legal fees charged by private lawyers for those who chose to plead not guilty. If a defendant pleads not guilty and does not have BAC of .20 or more on his record, his chances of acquittal, particularly if he has a good lawyer who will cost him $500 to $1,500, are more than 80%. The backlog of cases was maintained at a steady level of 3,500 cases starting in the middle of 1974 through the middle of 1975. The change of DWI case jurisdiction from Superior Courts to District Courts will cut down the backlog within a year or two.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored in part by Puerto Rico Traffic Safety Commission, Santurce.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Kuttan (Appu) and Associates

    Santurce,   Puerto Rico 

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Puerto Rico Traffic Safety Commission

    Santurce,   Puerto Rico  00907
  • Authors:
    • Yeganiantz, L
  • Publication Date: 1975-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: 138 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00192216
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-HS-802-842 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-160-2-251
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2004 7:53PM