An Alcohol Policy Evaluation of Drinking and Driving in Hillsborough County, Florida

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drinking and driving, alcohol policy

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime that contributes to approximately 9% of traffic-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities in the state of Florida. Specifically, Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, has the highest rate of DUI-related occurrences in the state of Florida. There are several gaps in policy, enforcement, and treatment that need to be addressed before Hillsborough County can shed this dubious distinction. To this end, 15 key stakeholders involved in alcohol policy were interviewed about law enforcement, judicial, and treatment issues. Several obstacles to reducing DUI crime emerged: inadequate case preparation time, case overload, prosecution challenges such as leniency and inconsistency in sentencing, and the need for more collaboration between law enforcement, the judicial system, and treatment providers. Suggested recommendations included the addition of a DUI court, stricter legal and treatment requirements, and mandatory blood testing.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Criminal Justice Policy Review, v. 18, issue 4, p. 434-450