Arrest and conviction of injured intoxicated drivers in eastern Pennsylvania.
The legal hazards of driving under the influence (DUI) are frequently not appreciated by alcohol users. Physicians who treat such patients following collisions are often unaware of the judicial disposition following hospital discharge. We examined the courthouse records of 511 intoxicated drivers involved in collisions and admitted to one Level I Trauma Center to determine if DUI arrests and convictions were obtained. The proportion arrested for DUI ranged from 6%-54% (mean 41%) depending on county of crash site and distance from the trauma center. Of those arrested, the proportion of DUI convictions averaged 98% for all jurisdictions. Two hundred and nineteen intoxicated drivers were transported from the crash scene by helicopter. Increased transport distance was associated with a lower arrest proportion (p = 0.01). Most injured intoxicated drivers in this study were not arrested for DUI. Of those identified and arrested, conviction was a virtual certainty. Helicopter transport may provide additional protection from prosecution.
Published In/Presented At
Barillo DJ. Arrest and conviction of injured intoxicated drivers in eastern Pennsylvania. Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Oct;25(5):635-9. doi: 10.1016/0001-4575(93)90015-o. PMID: 8397666.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery