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Policing and Punishing the Drinking Driver: A Study of General and Specific Deterrence

NCJ Number
R Homel
Date Published
318 pages
This book reports original research on the impact of random breath testing (RBT) in deterring drunk driving in New South Wales (Australia).
The book opens with a discussion of techniques for researching the interaction between the criminal justice system and the drinking driver as well as the social and cultural context of drunk driving. This is followed by a description of the deterrence model and how it can be applied to the study of RBT and the sentencing of the drunk driver. A review of empirical research on deterrence focuses on drunk driving research, reconviction studies, and studies which have used perceptual measures. A description of RBT as it operates in Australia, especially New South Wales, is followed by a review of the literature on the effectiveness of RBT. The methodology of this RBT study is then described. The study indicates that RBT has an impact in New South Wales not only by increasing drivers' fear of legal punishments but through a reduction in the social pressures encouraging excessive drinking. 380 references, study instruments, author index, subject index, 16 figures.