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Journal Article

Citation

Krause KR, Howells GA, Bair HA, Bendick PJ, Glover JL. J. Trauma 1998; 45(6): 1069-1073.

Affiliation

Division of Trauma, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan 48073, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1998, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

9867050

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported low conviction rates for drunk drivers injured in motor vehicle crashes and transported to the hospital. The purpose of this study was to evaluate this rate during a recent period and to investigate the variables that predict alcohol-related convictions for injured drunk drivers admitted to our hospital. METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records from January 1991 through May 1997 identified 71 patients who were legally intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle crashes. Court records, police reports, and driving records were also obtained. RESULTS: Overall, 51% of the drunk drivers were convicted of alcohol-related offenses and 32% escaped without any conviction. Blood alcohol level and a police officer's estimation of whether the driver had been drinking were significant predictors of an alcohol-related conviction. Age, Injury Severity Score, a police officer's estimation of injury, and the number of people or cars involved in the crash were not significantly associated with legal outcome. CONCLUSION: Although this study shows an important increase in alcohol-related conviction rates, responsibility for further progress will depend on the medical community, law enforcement agencies, and the judicial system working together.

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