Vegas Lawyer
Helping People Who
Were Hurt In Nevada

Dempsey, Roberts
& Smith, Ltd.

Vegas Lawyer
Nevada Legal Help

Slip & Fall
Medical Injury
Product Defect
Other Claims
Contact Us

Las Vegas Lawyers

Vegas Injury Law

Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other Nevada Legal Topics before you read the Article below.

  • The Hard Core Drinking Driver

  • The Hard Core Drinking Driver

    In 1984, the National Transportation Safety Board published a safety study titled Deficiencies in Enforcement, Judicial, and Treatment Programs Related to Repeat Offender Drunk Drivers (NTSB/SS-84/04) (the Repeat Offender Study). That study identified repeat offender drinking drivers (included in this report under the category of "hard core drinking drivers") as a serious traffic safety problem.

    In the more than 15 years that have passed since that investigation was concluded, efforts have been made by all the States to address this major safety problem. However, despite significant progress, the measures taken and the degree of implementation have not been uniform, and 15,794 people still died in 1999 from alcohol-related crashes. This number is far above the target set by the Secretary of Transportation in 1995 to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities to no more than 11,000 by 2005.

    For purposes of this report, the NTSB uses the term "hard core drinking drivers" to include repeat offender drinking drivers (that is, offenders who have prior convictions or arrests for a Driving While Impaired [DWI] by alcohol offense) and high-BAC offenders (that is, all offenders with a blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.15 percent or greater).

    From 1983 through 1998, at least 137,338 people died in crashes involving hard core drinking drivers.1 NHTSA's data also indicate that 99,812 people were injured in fatal crashes involving hard core drinking drivers (as defined by the Safety Board) during that same time period. In 1998 alone, hard core drinking drivers were involved in a minimum of 6,370 highway fatalities, the estimated cost of which was at least $5.3 billion.

    In preparing this report, the Safety Board reviewed the literature on countermeasures that have been found effective in reducing recidivism, crashes, fatalities, and injuries. This report identifies the highway safety problem involving hard core drinking drivers, discusses research on control measures, and proposes solutions. It also discusses steps taken by the United States Congress to address the hard core drinking driver problem by enacting certain provisions in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and suggests ways to make this legislation even more effective.

    TEA-21 would better assist the States to reduce the hard core drinking driver problem if it were modified to (a) include a revised definition of "repeat offender" that included administrative actions on DWI offenses, (b) require mandatory treatment for offenders, (c) establish an extended period for records retention and DWI offense look-back; (d) require administratively imposed vehicle sanctions; (e) eliminate provisions for community service; and (f) provide for the inclusion of home detention with electronic monitoring.

    The Safety Board believes that a model program to reduce hard core drinking driving would incorporate the following elements:

    • Frequent and well-publicized statewide sobriety checkpoints that include checking for valid driver's licenses. Checkpoints should not be limited to holiday periods.
    • Vehicle sanctions to restrict or separate hard core drinking drivers from their vehicles, including license plate actions (impoundment, confiscation, or other actions); vehicle immobilization, impoundment, and forfeiture; and ignition interlocks for high-BAC first offenders and repeat offenders.
    • State and community cooperative programs involving driver licensing agencies, law enforcement officers, judges, and probation officers to enforce DWI suspension and revocation.
    • Legislation to require that DWI offenders who have been convicted or administratively adjudicated maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration while operating a motor vehicle.
    • Legislation that defines a high blood alcohol concentration (0.15 percent or greater) as an "aggravated" DWI offense that requires strong intervention similar to that ordinarily prescribed for repeat DWI offenders.
    • As alternatives to confinement, programs to reduce hard core drinking driver recidivism that include home detention with electronic monitoring and/or intensive probation supervision programs.
    • Legislation that restricts the plea bargaining of a DWI offense to a lesser, non-alcohol-related offense, and that requires the reasons for DWI charge reductions be entered into the public record.
    • Elimination of the use of diversion programs that permit erasing, deferring, or otherwise purging the DWI offense record or that allow the offender to avoid license suspension.
    • Administrative license revocation for BAC test failure and refusal.
    • A DWI record retention and DWI offense enhancement look-back period of at least 10 years.
    • Individualized sanction programs for hard core DWI offenders that rely on effective countermeasures for use by courts that hear DWI cases.

    As a result of this review, the Safety Board issued a recommendation to the Governors and Legislative Leaders of the 50 States and to the Mayor and Council of the District of Columbia, to establish a hard core drinking driver program that is designed to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related crashes and fatalities, and that includes highly visible enforcement, administrative license revocation, vehicle sanctions, special laws for aggravated driving while impaired offenses and zero BAC for repeat offenders, limits on plea-bargaining, alternatives to confinement, and improved record-keeping, as described in the model program. The Board also issued a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Transportation, regarding improvements to the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.

         1 Nineteen ninety-eight is the most recent year for which complete data are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    This information came from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration online article.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

    Index | Home

    Contact David Matheny, Esq. for a free consultation.

    (702) 388-1229

    Lawyer Directory | Attorney Finder

    Search for more information on Vegas Law and Las Vegas Lawyers:


    Las Vegas Legal Help
    Vegas Law

    Vegas Lawyer
    Vegas Lawyers

    Index | Home

    Find A Lawyer By State | Search For Attorneys By City | Get Legal Information | Contact Us

    520 South Fourth Street, Suite 360
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

    Las Vegas Lawyer - Las Vegas Attorney - Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

    Neither the State Bar of Nevada nor any agency of the State Bar has certified any lawyer identified here as a specialist or as an expert.  Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability. This site is intended for Nevada residents and those with legal issues arising under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada.  This site does not give legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.  Laws are different in other states and localities, consult a local attorney.

    The information in this web site is provided for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute legal advice. The use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Further communication with an attorney through the web site and e-mail may not be considered as confidential or privileged. Please contact our attorneys if you wish to discuss the contents of this web site. Any laws, rules or statutes giving any information, restrictions or deadlines, are always subject to change at any time - Contact a local attorney to obtain the current status of such information.

    In the series of Articles on this site, many government PSAs and other information are excerpted. All such materials are believed to be in the public domain. If any work is protected, contact the webmaster at any of the e-mail links and the material will be taken off the site immediately.

    If you experience unusual problems with this site or discover bad links, please email the webmaster. Thank you.

    Copyright: David Matheny, 2003-2005.