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The Injured Intoxicated Driver: Analysis of the Conviction Process.
The Journal of Trauma
  • Sue Chang
  • James G Cushman, MD
  • Michael D Pasquale, MD, FACS, FCCM, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Publication/Presentation Date

BACKGROUND: The widespread nature of alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions suggests inadequacies in the system for deterring alcohol use when driving. This study was performed to determine whether hospitalization is a component in a "system failure" that allows injured, alcohol-impaired drivers to escape arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of medical and court records of intoxicated drivers injured in a motor vehicle collision who were transported to our Level I trauma center from January 1, 1997, through December 31, 1998.

RESULTS: Of the 213 intoxicated drivers in our study, 172 (81%) were followed up by law enforcement officials, and 156 (73.2%) were arrested for DUI. Of those who were arrested and completed court hearings, 135 (93.8%) were convicted for DUI.

CONCLUSION: These values are higher than those reported in previous studies and indicate that hospitalization does not "protect" injured, intoxicated drivers in our community.

Document Type
Citation Information

Chang, S., Cushman, J. G., & Pasquale, M. D. (2001). The injured intoxicated driver: analysis of the conviction process. The Journal Of Trauma, 51(3), 551-556.