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License plate confiscation for persistent alcohol impaired drivers

, : License plate confiscation for persistent alcohol impaired drivers. Accident; Analysis and Prevention 28(1): 53-61

Minnesota cancels the registrations and confiscates the license plates of vehicles driven by repeat drinking drivers in a procedure which prior research has demonstrated to be effective in reducing subsequent recidivism. The research reported here concerns the problems experienced in the functioning of this law. Samples of officials and repeat driving under the influence (DUI) offenders were interviewed in Minnesota and in the neighboring state of Iowa, chosen for comparison because its laws also provide for plate confiscation, but using a judicial rather than an administrative procedure. In addition, representative samples of the driving and vehicle registration records of convicted drunk drivers and of routine traffic offenders were analyzed. The research found that evasion of plate impoundment orders by drivers, though apparently easy to accomplish, appeared to be rare. However, the orders were themselves not issued in a large proportion of cases where they were prescribed by statute, potentially weakening the effectiveness of the law. The reasons, with possible countermeasures, are explored in this report.


PMID: 8924185

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