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Small-area variations in conviction rates for DWI: the significance of contextual variables in a Southwestern state

, : Small-area variations in conviction rates for DWI: the significance of contextual variables in a Southwestern state. Accident; Analysis and Prevention 38(3): 600-609

Average annual conviction rates (1990-2000) of people arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in each of New Mexico's 33 counties are described. Conviction rates vary from 58 to 95%. Rates are correlated with political conservatism, being higher where a higher proportion of voters voted for the republican presidential candidates, and with measures of crowding in the courts. Conviction rates are higher in rural than urban areas and are correlated with a low prevalence of alcohol-related problems in the population. The variance in conviction rates is higher in rural than urban areas, and higher where measures of court crowding are low. The results suggest that political culture and the efficiency of court functioning are each independently associated with conviction rates for DWI and may also be associated in a reciprocal fashion with both low DWI arrest rates and alcohol-involved crash rates.


PMID: 16423318

DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2005.12.004

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